Houses in multiple occupation

The council operates an Additional Licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Take part in the Additional Licensing Review consultation until 16 December 2018

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.

They will help you to complete the licensing form correctly, be aware of the HMO licensing process, fees and requirements and will assist you to reach compliance with all HMO licensing requirements.

The HMO licensing guidance notes:

  • outline the purpose of licensing
  • define what is a HMO 
  • define exemptions from licensing
  • provide guidance on applying for Temporary Exemption Notices (pdf)
  • outline planning and building regulations requirements
  • outline South Wales Fire and Rescue Service involvement
  • detail requirements of the HMO public register
  • outline HMO licence fees and charges
  • provide guidance on the licence holder and manager
  • provide guidance on the determination of a 'fit and proper' person
  • provide advice on completing the HMO licensing application form
  • detail HMO licensing application supporting documentation including Appendix A: declaration of understanding form (pdf)  
  • detail the HMO licensing application process
  • outline licensing enforcement
  • provide advice on rent repayment orders
  • provide advice on appeals mechanisms

Please also read the HMO Licensing Standards (pdf) before making an application. This guidance outlines standards within licensable HMOs.

The HMO Licensing Standards outlines the:

  • standards of accommodation
  • general principles of occupation
  • room size requirements
  • outlines facilities for kitchens, bathrooms, shower rooms, water closets
  • heating requirements
  • electrical safety and sockets
  • refuse storage and entitlement
  • fire safety
  • furniture and furnishings requirements
  • ventilation requirements
  • general conditions and management arrangements
  • environmental health housing inspections (see below)
  • HMO licence conditions (pdf)
  • Public protection enforcement policy (pdf)
  • enforcement
  • Rent Smart Wales

Apply for a HMO Licence (pdf)

Read what is expected of an HMO manager and how to change a 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

A rent repayment order (RRO) is a means for tenants and former tenants to reclaim up to twelve months rent where a landlord rents out accommodation which should be licensed but is not.

However the landlord must first be found guilty in court or in a tribunal of committing the offence of renting the accommodation without a licence. Such cases will be taken by the council.

A tenant or former tenant can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for a rent repayment order to reclaim up to 12 months rent from the landlord. Refer to the advice sheet.

Download the Rent Repayment Order Guide for Tenants (pdf)

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 (pdf) 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.

TRA92849 23/10/2018