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Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

Landlord of certain houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) need to apply to license their properties.

Mandatory Licensing

This applies to HMOs which are three or more storeys high and have five or more occupiers who do not form a single household. The number of storeys includes habitable basements and attics. Mandatory licensing applies across the whole of Swansea.

Additional Licensing

Additional Licensing applies in the Castle and Uplands wards in the centre of Swansea. All HMOs, irrespective of size, have to be licensed in these two wards. This includes HMOs that are excluded from the mandatory HMO licensing scheme.

In partnership with EUGO : This link opens in a new window How do I apply for an HMO licence?

You need to complete an application form and submit it with the correct fee, a current landlord's gas safety record and a passport-style photograph of the licence applicant.

If you apply by post you should make cheques payable to 'City and County of Swansea' and send it with your completed form.

For more information about the HMO licensing procedures and fees please refer to the  PDF Document HMO licensing information (PDF, 60KB)Opens new window

What happens if I don't license my property?

Failure to license an HMO is a criminal offence for which an owner can be prosecuted and can be fined up to £20,000.

Where owners have been prosecuted tenants can claim back any rent they have paid to the landlord whilst the property was not licensed. To do this, tenants must apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order. Please telephone them on 02920 231687 or e-mail

Failure to comply with licence conditions is also an offence and the fine can be up to £5,000. Licences can also be revoked if a landlord fails to comply with the licence conditions.

In certain cases if the owner fails to license, the Council can make a Management Order and take over the management of the property. The owner will not have access to the property and the rent will be collected by the Council.

How can I find out if my landlord has licensed the HMO where I live?

Details of HMOs that are licensed are held on a public register. If the property you are looking for is not here please let us know.

Conditions of the licence also mean that a copy of the licence should be clearly displayed in a prominent position at the property.


If you have any problems with your application or would like more information then please contact us on 01792 635600 or email Any applicant who is refused a licence or who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.

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