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Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation is a building, or part of a building, that is being lived in by a group of people. 

For example:

  • A house or flat converted into three or more bedsits
  • A house or flat occupied by three or more friends, work colleagues or students
  • A house which has self-contained flats where less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied. The flats were not converted in accordance with the 1991 Building Regulations


Help, information and guidance

We have put together a handbook for Landlords about Houses of Multiple Occupation

It contains information about:

  • licenses
  • fire safety
  • space standards
  • planning applications
  • what should be expected from a Landlord and a Tenant  


All Houses of Multiple Occupation occupied by five or more people requires a licence.  It is an offence to operate without a licence.

The fee for a licence is £551.

You can apply for a licence by downloading the form below:

Once the form is complete, email the Adaptations Team or send it to:

Adaptations Team
Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich IP1 2BX

We publish a register of licenses issued:


Fire and amenity standards

There are minimum fire standards that should be followed. These are minimum standards. They should be used as a guide only.

The actual provisions required will be dependent on a risk assessment. This will be carried out by a council officer.

You can download the Fire and Amenity Standards in Houses in Multiple Occupation for more information.