NORTH Dorset District Council has agreed new fees for licensing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Following a change in Government guidance, HMOs now require a licence if occupied by five or more people in two or more separate households.

New regulations also impose mandatory conditions for landlords, concerning minimum sleeping room sizes, maximum number of occupants and refuse facilities.

The district council has agreed an annual fee of £550 for renewals, and £650 for a new application

Councillor and council leader Graham Carr-Jones, cabinet member for housing, said: "Licensing of HMOs ensures that our housing team knows about properties which may present significant health risk to residents.

"It also gives us the evidence that shows appropriate management arrangements have been made for the property."

For more details call the council on 01305 251010 or email