You will need a licence from us if your property meets the following criteria:

  • occupied by 5 or more people, forming two or more households AND
  • tenants share facilities such as kitchen or bathrooms

Some purpose-built flats will also need a licence where there are up to two flats in the block and one or both of the flats are occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more separate households. This will apply whether or not the block is above or below commercial premises. This will mean that certain flats above shops on high streets need to be licenced as well as small blocks of flats which are not connected to commercial premises.

The individual HMO needs to be licensed and not the building in which the HMO is situated. This means that where a building has two flats and each is occupied by 5 people living in 2 or more households, each flat will require a separate HMO licence.


The HMO licence fee in Cheltenham has recently changed. The fee is now split into two payments.

  • Payment one is paid when a HMO licence application is submitted
  • Payment two is due after the inspection

Download the licence fees list.

The discount will only be granted on the standard part two fee for a fully complete HMO Licence application submitted, such as no council follow-up or chasing-up for any documents in relation to the application, whether missing, incomplete or part complete. Where a fully complete 'renewal' application is received after the expiry date of the existing licence, the discount will not be applied as this is a late application.

A licence lasts for three years.

Fines and penalties

It is an offence:

  • to not have a licence for a property that requires one
  • to allow occupation of a HMO over the number of people permitted
  • to fail to comply with any condition of the licence

You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO or a fine of up to £5,000 for breaching a condition of the licence upon conviction (as at October 2018). Local authorities are also able to issue landlords with civil penalty notices of up to £30,000 per offence as an alternative to prosecution.

Make an application

Apply for a new licence.

For existing licence renewals, please visit our renewals page.