HMO licence fees and charges

HMO Licence Fees 2020-2021

If your property is occupied as an HMO then you must make an application for an HMO licence immediately. Under the Housing Act 2004 s72(1), it is an offence to fail to licence an HMO. Although our fee structure will give a lower fee if your application is made promptly, this does not provide an excuse for failing to make an application.

Following a legal case brought by a landlord (Gaskin) against London Borough of Richmond, the Council were obliged to review the HMO licensing fees. The Court of Appeal decision means that the Council must offer a 2 stage fee and as such the costs of the licences have risen.

  • Stage 1 must be paid when you make the application for the application process costs.
  • Stage 2 must be paid when you are sent the “notice of intention to grant a licence”. Stage 2 fee must be paid within 14 days of this notice. If you have applied for a two or five year renewal, if payment is not made within 14 days of the request then you will automatically be issued with a one year licence.

Your application is not “duly made” until both fees are paid and your licence will not be issued.

The case also clarified that the costs of operating and enforcing the scheme can be charged as part of the licence fee. Previous to this the Council did not charge for the enforcement of the HMO licensing scheme (the operating costs were included in the fees). These costs are the Stage 2 payment.

Table showing HMO licence fees


Application type

2020/2021 fees


Higher Rate New Application - New application for a one-year licence where the HMO has been operating unlicensed for more than 12 weeks

Stage 1 £1133

Stage 2 £865

Total £1998


Standard New Application -
New application for a one-year* licence where:
i) The HMO was acquired and/or began operating as an HMO within the previous 12 weeks; or
ii) The licence expired before a valid renewal application was completed; or
iii) Change of existing licence holder.
*May be eligible for longer licence in cases of  i) or iii) if Licence Holder holds other HMO licences with us and all relevant criteria are met at time of application

Stage 1 £314

Stage 2 £227

Total £541


Standard Renewal - Annual renewal where there are no management concerns or outstanding conditions and the licence holder is not an Oxford City Council Accredited Landlord

Stage 1 £196

Stage 2 £62

Total £258


Higher Rate Renewal - Annual renewal where there are management concerns, non-compliance issues or other reasons that re-inspection or audit is required

Stage 1 £268

Stage 2 £222

Total £490


Two-year Renewal -Licence renewal for 2 years where all two-year licence criteria are met

Stage 1 £196

Stage 2 £88

Total £284


Five year licence - Oxford City Council Accredited Landlords only - licence for five or more tenants( falls under the mandatory licence national legal requirement) - must meet all eligibility criteria

Stage 1 £196

Stage 2 £211

Total £407

Optional charges for other services

HMO fees - optional charges for other services


Service type

2020/2021 fees


Fire Risk Assessment provided by our Building Control Service



HMO licensing advice (per visit)



Assisting tenant to apply for Rent Repayment Order (RRO)

10% of rent awarded by FtT


The licensing fees are set to recover the administrative and inspection costs. Refunds are only made as listed below. Refunds will be made to the card used for the payment.

HMO fees - refunds 2020-21

Circumstances of refund request

Amount refunded (2020/2021)

Stage One payment – Before inspection of the house

The retained amount covers the Council's preliminary administrative costs

Stage one fee less £109

Stage One payment – After inspection completed

The retained amount covers the Council's application costs

Stage one payment – nil

Stage Two – After the intention notice

The retained amount covers the Council's ongoing costs

Stage one payment – nil

Any stage two payment – full refund

Stage Two - over payment

The difference will be refunded. (i.e. a landlord pays for a two year licence and is issued a one year licence, the difference in fees is refunded)

Stage Two - difference refunded

Revocation of licence once the decision notice has been issued

Once a licence has been issued, it cannot be withdrawn. The licence holder must ask for the licence to be revoked. The retained amount covers the Council’s ongoing costs.

Stage one payment – nil

Stage two payment - nil

Property was not an HMO at the time the application was made and has not been occupied as an HMO

Only where  a landlord can demonstrate that the property has never been occupied as an HMO

Stage one payment – full refund

Stage two payment – full refund