As part of the Housing Act 2004, compulsory licensing of certain HMO properties was introduced (also known as mandatory licensing). This is intended to help improve standards, particularly in larger, high-risk HMO, and to ensure that these properties are managed by “fit and proper persons”.
Mandatory licensing of HMOs has been extended (from 1 October 2018) so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in two or more separate households will, in many cases, require a licence. For further information and as a starter, visit the Government website.
The council is not currently operating any additional or selective HMO licensing schemes.
The district council has currently set the licence fees at:
New HMO Licence Application – £720 (includes an application inspection and a check inspection)
Renewal HMO Licence Application – £510 (includes an application inspection and a check inspection)
Additional inspection(s) requested by landlord – £150 (per inspection)
(All these fees are set locally by the council, reviewed annually and cover the five year licence period).
Tacit consent does not apply to this application as it is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Private Sector Housing Team within 90 days from your application date, please contact us.
It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without having obtained a licence. The current fine that can be imposed is £20,000.
In addition, any Housing Benefit paid to the landlord of an unlicensed HMO, may be repayable to the local authority (subject to a Residential Property Tribunal Order) and in some circumstances, tenants can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) for a Rent Repayment Order if they have paid rent to a landlord who has failed to obtain an HMO licence.
A local authority can apply to a RPT to manage an HMO that is not licensed. This means the council could take over management responsibilities from the landlord in respect to the property, including collection of rent and carrying out repairs etc. This is referred to as an Interim or Final Management Order.
Landlords – apply for HMO licences here
Read the guidance notes here.