Licensing of HMO
Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
From 1 October 2018 the law regarding the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) changed. Any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more households and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a licence.
If you own or manage a property that meets the above requirement then you are required to apply for a licence. A licence will normally be granted for a 5 year period and then it will need to be renewed.
Failure to License a HMO
It is an offence to operate or manage a HMO, which should be licensed, without a licence. Operating a HMO without a licence could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000 being imposed or prosecution in the Magistrates Court and an unlimited fine.
This could also mean that the person convicted is considered not to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence, which means that they would be unable to hold a licence for a HMO anywhere in England, nor could they be a manager. Subsequent convictions could result in the responsible persons receiving a banning order preventing them from renting property across the country.
It is also possible for a rent repayment order to be made against the convicted person which would require the repayment of all rents received from people living in the property during the period it was being used as an unlicensed HMO, to a maximum of 12 months. These orders could apply to any housing benefit payments made by the local authority as well as any amount paid by the tenants.
Temporary Exemption Notice
You can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN) if you manage or control a house in multiple occupation (HMO) that currently requires a licence but you want to take steps so the property no longer needs to be licensed.
Applications for a TEN must be made by the person who controls or manages the property i.e. the landlord or agent.
You cannot apply for a TEN to avoid being properly licensed.
Please request a TEN via the email address below.
Variation to a Licence
If you have made changes to your property which affects the conditions of your licence then you may need to apply for a variation. There is no fee for this but you must tell the Council if you have changed something.
Please request an application for variation via the email address below.