Last updated September 2023

The following list sets out the council’s combined database of HMO properties, our understanding of the planning status of properties, and whether or not the property benefits from a license which would be issued by the Private Sector Housing Team.

The Planning Service has an Article 4 direction that covers the entire city. However, the regulations for licensing vary and are as follows:

  • HMO licensing for smaller properties, which is referred to as Additional Licensing, started on 1 September 2023. This is a city wide scheme and means that if your property has three or four people who form two or more households it will need to be licensed. This includes both shared houses and bedsits where occupants share amenities.
  • For the larger properties with 5 or more occupants, often referred to as Mandatory Licensing, this is a city wide licensing scheme. Due to new regulations, all properties from 1st October 2018 are required to have a licence if they have 5 or more tenants regardless of the number of storeys.

Portsmouth City Council is joined up, however in some cases the legislation we work with is not. When dealing with the Article 4 directive and licensing of HMO’s, each council department has a specific responsibility to ensure compliance with its own legal responsibilities. This can mean a HMO could be issued a licence via the Private Sector Housing Team, when it does not have planning permission to be used as a HMO and vice versa. But we do share information and ensure that landlords are fully aware of their legal responsibilities.

Note: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information in respect of the lawful use of these properties as we have relied, in some instances, upon information provided to us by property owners.

  • Yes‘ in the Planning Column indicates that the Local Planning Authority is aware, through various data sets, that the property may be operating as a HMO. However, this does not confirm that the property has planning permission to operate as such, or is operating as a lawful HMO (in planning terms) through other means.
    Please be advised that the lawfulness of a HMO should be confirmed with the planning department if no Planning Permission or Certificate of Lawful Use can be produced. The LPA reserves the right to investigate any property on the list with regards to its operation as a HMO, and remove it from the list if found to be operating unlawfully.
  • Yes‘┬áin licencing column indicates the HMO is licenced.
  • Pending‘ in the licensing column indicates an application has been received and is pending.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) table