- The Housing Act 2004 defines houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). HMOs include house and flat shares, student homes, bedsits and some buildings converted into flats. Any properties that contain three or more occupiers forming two or more households who share amenities such as kitchen, bathroom, living area and any communal space require an HMO licence. The tenancy agreement is not relevant in determining if a house is an HMO, nor is the number of storeys.
An HMO requires a licence and a landlord commits an offence by letting an HMO without a licence.
Landlords must hold either a mandatory or additional licence if they are operating an HMO in Camden.
Use the Greater London Authority's Property Licence Checker to find out if a property requires a HMO licence
Find out if a property already has a licence on Camden's register of licenced HMOs
The definition of a mandatory licensable HMO changed on 1 October 2018. The requirement applies to most properties occupied by 5 or more people forming 2 or more households, regardless of the number of storeys.
The only exemption is for HMOs which are flats located in purpose built blocks containing 3 or more flats. However, all such flats in Camden must still be licensed under our Additional Licensing scheme.
Please note: If you have a HMO that meets this criteria and you already hold an additional HMO licence you do not need to do anything until that licence expires. Upon renewal, you will need to re-apply for a mandatory licence.
This is a local scheme to Camden which came into force on 8 December 2020. This replaces the additional licensing scheme introduced in 2015.
Additional licensing applies to other HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing. It applies to any property occupied by 3 or more people forming 2 or more households. It also applies to buildings converted into self-contained flats that do not meet the standards of the Building Regulations 1991 (or later) and less than half of the flats are owner-occupied.
Properties that require an HMO licence (PDF)
Please note: Applications received for properties with zero tenants may be returned. This is because the Housing Act 2004 makes it clear that a house cannot be a HMO (and therefore licensable) until it is occupied by persons as their residence. For this reason, an application should be made as soon as a property is rented out as a licensable HMO.