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My Norwich

Why do some HMOs require a licence?

Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 requires Norwich City Council to license certain HMOs in the private rented sector. Licensing was introduced in April 2006 in response to growing national concern regarding the condition and management of the private rented sector, particularly larger HMOs. In October 2018, the definition of HMO requiring a licence was extended by the Secretary of State to include HMOs with five or more occupants.

Licensing is intended to make sure that:

  • HMOs are managed by a ‘fit and proper’ person.
  • each HMO is suitable for the number occupants living in the building
  • the management of the HMO (including repairs, amenities, health and safety) is satisfactory
  • high risk HMOs can be identified and targeted for improvement.