Apply for a HMO licence

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Mandatory HMO licensing applies across England to all HMOs that are occupied by five or more persons forming more than one household.

Previously Mandatory HMO licensing only applied to HMOs of 3 or more storeys, but from 1st October 2018, the ‘storey rule’ is no longer applied.

It is an offence to operate a House in Multiple Occupation which meets the licensable criteria without a licence. Landlords can be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court and upon conviction can face an unlimited fine.

Further guidance for landlords and managers is available in IBC’s HMO Handbook

Licence fees

The licence fee for a House in Multiple Occupation is from £120 per unit of accommodation. A unit of accommodation is a room that you use or intend to use as sleeping accommodation. This includes bedrooms and living or dining rooms that, without alterations, are being used or you intend to use as bedrooms.

As an example, if your property has six bedrooms and a lounge and dining room that you are or intend to be used as bedrooms, your fee will be £960, i.e. £120 x 8 rooms.


A variation is required in situations such as:

  • Where there is a change of address for the licence holder;
  • Where the manager (who is not the licence holder) changes;
  • Where there is a change in the maximum number of occupants at the HMO;
  • Where the number of rooms at the HMO changes.

Licence holders are responsible for informing the Council that a variation is required. Failure to notify the Council of relevant changes constitutes a breach of the licence conditions.

Apply online

You can apply for a HMO licence online here.

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For any queries please call Private Sector Housing on the details provided on this page. 

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Contact Details

Private Sector Housing,
Ipswich Borough Council,
4W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000