Houses in Multiple Occupation - Licence
Since 2006 certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have needed a licence to operate. The government has published the draft regulations stating which HMOs will require a licence. The draft regulations state that HMOs which require a mandatory licence are those types of 'high risk' HMOs with three storeys or more and are occupied by five or more persons, making two or more households. This does not include self contained flats that have been converted with appropriate building regulation approval.
What will the licence require?
The Licence Holder must be a fit and proper person. The evidence we look for when considering if someone is a fit and proper person is set out in Section 66. Matters which might cause the Council to consider someone not fit and proper include;
- any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs or fraud
- whether the proposed licence holder has contravened any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
- if the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination practices
- if the person has managed HMOs otherwise than in accordance with any approved code of practice.
The property must be 'reasonably suitable for occupation' for a number of people
For an HMO to be reasonable suitable for occupation for a relevant number of people the Council will be using the standards the Government has recently produced in draft form. The regulations prescribe standards covering;
- number, type and quality of bathrooms, toilets, wash basins and showers
- number, type and quality of food storage, preparation and cooking facilities
- fire precautions
What will the licence contain?
A licence will state the maximum number of occupants who may occupy the HMO and may also include conditions relating to:
- the management of the house, including taking such steps as are reasonable to deal with anti social behaviour of the occupants and people visiting it
- the condition of the house, its contents (e.g. furniture), the amenity standards (e.g. bathrooms, toilets) (other than in respect of an Housing Health & Safety Rating System hazard)
- a requirement to carry out specified works or take actions, within such times as is specified in the licence
How much will the licence cost?
The fees have been calculated to ensure that no burden is placed on the Council Tax payer in issuing the licence. The cost is purely for the administrative process and not for any inspection or enforcement action. The licence will be issued for 5 years , please see fees list for cost, for the initial licence for each property. However the Council may reduce the fee where multiple applications are received for the same person managing the HMO where some of the checks will be repeated.
For further information visit the Department of Communities and Local Government information pages.
- Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Houses in Multiple Occupation - Licence (you are here)