Mandatory licensing of HMOs is required by law, and is operated by all local councils in England and Wales. Currently, mandatory licensing applies to:
All HMOs with 5 or more occupiers living in 2 or more households, who share an amenity such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, regardless of the number of storeys. The storey requirement was removed from the previous definition on 1 October 2018.
Other changes to the regulations mean that some flats, including those over shops, will also require a licence if they are occupied by 5 or more people, from 2 or more separate households.