North East Lincolnshire Council

Houses in multiple occupation

A property is classed as a house in multiple occupation if it:

  • is occupied by five or more persons
  • forms two or more households
  • requires occupants to share a bathroom or kitchen

Types of occupation can include:

  • cohesive groups (shared house)
  • non-cohesive groups (bedsit)
  • certain self-contained flats


Houses occupied on a shared basis. These would normally be occupied by members of a defined social group for example students or a group of young single adults. The occupiers have use of a bedroom but would share other facilities including a communal living space.


Houses occupied as individual rooms where there is some exclusive occupation. Usually bedroom or living room and some sharing of amenities such as a bathroom or toilet and kitchen. Each occupant lives otherwise independently of all others.

Mandatory licensing

A property must meet all the criteria in order to require a license. A property with an existing mandatory licence cannot be transferred to a new owner.

Planning permission

If you use a building as a house in multiple occupation  you may need planning permission.

Find out about applying for planning permission or building regulations approval.

Contact details

Home Improvement Team, New Oxford House, 2 George Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HB


Telephone: 01472 326296

Opening times: Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4:30 pm, except bank holidays

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, except bank holidays