A new additional licensing scheme for shared houses agreed by Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet members at their most recent meeting will be implemented from 1 September 2023.

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) will be extended to smaller ones with three or four occupants. Currently, only HMOs with five or more occupants require a licence.

Smaller HMOs which are seen to be well managed during the licence application process will be given a five-year licence. The licence fee will equate to about £2.86 per week per property over the five years.

Other properties will be granted licences for two and a half years, or just a single year.

A public notice has been published explaining the new designation which can be read here: Public Notice of Designation of Area

You can read all the reports and evidence relating to this decision at Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation and a website item about why the council was considering the policy change here: Shared home licence changes to be debated.

Instructions for landlords on how to obtain a licence for HMOs with three or four occupants will be provided in due course.