Privacy Notices - Houses in Multiple Occupation Privacy Notice


You need to be aware of this Privacy Notice if you are connected with the running of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Who is collecting and using your personal data?

Swindon Borough Council is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and other relevant regulations.

Your personal data – what is it?

The purpose of this privacy policy is to tell you about what information we collect about you when you use our service, how we use that information and who we may share it with.  If you are involved with the running a HMO, the law requires that you notify your local authority (Swindon Borough Council), and obtain a HMO Licence. The licensing of premises and the cooperation of those involved with HMOs is necessary to allow the competent authorities to perform official controls.

Housing Act 2004: 55  Licensing of HMOs to which this Part applies

(1)This Part provides for HMOs to be licensed by local housing authorities where (a) they are HMOs to which this Part applies (see subsection (2)), and (b) they are required to be licensed under this Part (see section 61(1)).
(2)This Part applies to the following HMOs in the case of each local housing authority, (a) any HMO in the authority’s district which falls within any prescribed description of HMO, and (b) if an area is for the time being designated by the authority under section 56 as subject to additional licensing, any HMO in that area which falls within any description of HMO specified in the designation.

63  Applications for licences

(1) An application for a licence must be made to the local housing authority.
(2) The application must be made in accordance with such requirements as the authority may specify.
(3) The authority may, in particular, require the application to be accompanied by a fee fixed by the authority.
(4) The power of the authority to specify requirements under this section is subject to any regulations made under subsection (5).
(5) The appropriate national authority may by regulations make provision about the making of applications under this section.
(6) Such regulations may, in particular (a) specify the manner and form in which applications are to be made; (b) require the applicant to give copies of the application, or information about it, to particular persons; (c) specify the information which is to be supplied in connection with applications; (d) specify the maximum fees which are to be charged (whether by specifying amounts or methods for calculating amounts); (e) specify cases in which no fees are to be charged or fees are to be refunded.
(7) When fixing fees under this section, the local housing authority may (subject to any regulations made under subsection (5)) take into account (a) all costs incurred by the authority in carrying out their functions under this Part, and (b) all costs incurred by them in carrying out their functions under Chapter 1 of Part 4 in relation to HMOs (so far as they are not recoverable under or by virtue of any provision of that Chapter)

The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018

Description of HMOs prescribed by the Secretary of State

An HMO is of a prescribed description for the purpose of section 55(2)(a) of the Act if it (a) is occupied by five or more persons; (b) is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households; and (c) meets (i) the standard test under section 254(2) of the Act; (ii) the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of the Act but is not a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats; or (iii) the converted building test under section 254(4) of the Act.

If you are involved in the running of a HMO, you are required to provide information which will include some sensitive data. This is required for individuals, partners and limited companies as well as voluntary, charitable groups, or other structures.

The Swindon Borough Council Data Protection Officer can be contacted via email:

What personal data do we collect?

To deliver this service, we will process names and dates of birth, addresses, phone number and email addresses, and personal and business relationship. We need to know the names and dates of birth in order to verify their identity and to conduct ‘fit and proper person’ checks. We are collecting this data because as a local authority with duties around HMO and other housing regulation; we have to ensure that the facts given to us are correct and not misleading or fraudulent in nature. We are required by The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006 to keep an accurate a register of HMO Licences.

Why do we need your personal information?

We will use the information we collect to populate the public HMO Licence Register. We will use this information to carry out regulation and enforcement of legislative provisions pertaining to residential accommodation, including that concerned with HMO Licensing specifically. 

Who do we share your information with?

We will never share your data with third parties except for where we are legally required to do so for the detection and prevention of crime in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

These include the following:

  • HMRC
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Home Office
  • The Police
  • Fire Authority
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Department for Communities, Housing & Local Government
How do we protect your information?

All data you give us as part of your HMO Licence Application is public. Data is held on electronic systems that is a closed system (which means it cannot be accessed outside of the Council). Data on those involved in the running of a HMO will be cleansed in accordance with our retention schedules after any HMO Licences have expired, if they are not renewed.

How long do we keep your personal information?

We will hold this information for as long as you are a Licence Holder and then for 7 years. Data for persons or businesses who no longer hold a HMO Licence will be removed from public access and only retained for the purposes of HMRC enquiries and for the prevention of Crime.

What you can do with your information?

You are freely able to withdraw your consent for us to process your information at any given time, however this will mean cancellation of your application and/or revocation of your Licence.  Operating a HMO without a Licence where one is required is a criminal offence, and so this would render you liable for criminal investigation and potentially large penalties however.

You have the right to request access to your data and where data is found to be inaccurate to have that data corrected. In certain circumstances you have the right to have data held about you erased however this will mean cancellation of your registration and will render you as trading illegally.

Or you can request the use of it to be restricted, you may be able to object to processing as well as the right to have your data transferred to another data controller.

Your right to complain

You also have a right of complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at if you think we have dealt with your information in an inappropriate manner.

You can ask to see what information we hold about you and have access to it.  You can do this, by contacting: Data Protection Officer Swindon Borough Council

Any further questions regarding the data being processed may also be sent to the Data Protection Officer at the above email address.

Main privacy notice

You are viewing the Privacy Notice for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Read the main Privacy Notice