Houses in multiple occupation

The council operates an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

A property must have a licence if there are three or more unrelated people forming more than two households in the same building.

See which properties require a licence

The aim of the licensing scheme is to make sure that:

  • landlords or their managers are fit and proper people

  • properties are suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence

  • the standard of management of the HMO is adequate

  • high risk HMOs can be identified and targeted for improvement

Licences can be refused if these standards are not met.

HMO landlords must also register with Rent Smart Wales.

HMO Pre-licence advisory service

We offer a Pre-licence advisory service for people proposing to convert a property to a HMO. 

Apply for HMO licensing

Please read the HMO application guidance notes (pdf) before making an application.

Apply for a HMO Licence (pdf)

Read what is expected of an HMO manager

Under government rules the cost of operating the licensing scheme may be paid for by charging a fee which is given in the guidance notes above.

The property has to conform to the standards adopted by the council and planning permission may also be needed for houses in multiple occupation.

Under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, shared houses with 3 or more occupiers or properties converted into flats or bedsits need planning consent. 

It is the responsibility of the owner or person in control of the property to make sure that the necessary planning or building regulation approvals have been obtained.  

It is an offence under Section 72 (1) of the Housing Act 2004 for a person in control or managing an HMO which is required to be licensed but is not and can be subject to an unlimited fine on conviction.

Rent repayment orders

If a landlord is convicted for failing to licence a HMO the council can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for a rent repayment order.

A rent repayment order enables us to claim back any housing benefit that was paid while the property was operating without a licence, up to a maximum 12 months.

Tenants may also apply to the tribunal for the repayment of rents they paid during the same period.

What is expected of an HMO manager  

HMO public licence register

Follow the link below to look at current HMO licensed properties:

  • select 'Advanced'
  • select 'Licences'
  • category HMO

Type the road name you are looking for in 'address of premises' making sure you include an asterisk before and after, e.g. *Chepstow Road*  - then select 'search' to see all licences for this road.

View current HMO licences

HMO inspections 

Council officers will inspect an HMO either because the property has been assessed as being at risk or after receiving a request or complaint.

During an inspection we will check compliance with licensing conditions and the HMO Management Regulations and make an assessment under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System


Contact Newport City Council and ask for the environmental health team.