If you rent out a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Wirral, you may require a licence from Wirral Council.

A licence is required if:

  • the property is 3 or more storeys (including basements and mezzanines)
  • is occupied by 5 or more people, not from one household
  • tenants share a bathroom and/or kitchen 

It is a criminal offence for a person to have control of a licensable HMO and not apply for a licence. An unlimited fine could be imposed if the council decides to prosecute.


  • initial fee - £250.00 per annum for HMO with up to five units of accommodation
  • additional fee - £30.00 for each additional unit, up to a maximum of £600 per annum

A £50 discount on the fee is given to license holders who:-

  • Already have their property accredited, or
  • Agree to submit their property for accreditation


For further information about HMO licences call 0151 691 8156.

Processing and timescales

Timescales for processing applications will vary depending on the complexity of the individual HMO. Details of likely timescales will be given once application and any supporting documents have been submitted.

Tacit consent does not apply.

Certain conditions will be attached to any licence granted. If you do not comply with the conditions the council can pursue legal action, including prosecution.

Failed applications

You can appeal to a residential property tribunal within 28 days regarding a failed application, conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence.

Where a licensable HMO is incapable of being licensed or has had its licence revoked, the council is under a duty to serve a management order. This effectively transfers the management of the HMO to a managing agent, appointed by the council.

The costs of improving the property and the management and maintenance fees can be recovered from the rental stream, with any surplus being paid to the landlord.

Licensed properties and licence holders

To search the above list for a property or licence holder, type CTRL+F and type in the text you are looking for.