Mandatory licensing - houses in multiple occupation

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".

With effect from 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing of HMOs will be extended so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in 2 or more separate households will in many cases require a licence. For further information and as a starter, visit the Government web site GOV.UK This link will take you to an external website... .

The council is not currently operating any additional or selective HMO licensing scheme.

HMO - Licence fees

The licence fee is £500 for a property of up to five units of accommodation, with a further fee of £25 for each additional unit of accommodation. (NB: We are currently completing a HMO fee review, the conclusion of this review will announced on 01 October 2018).

(All these fees are set locally by the council, reviewed annually and cover the 5 year licence period).

HMO - Penalties

It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without having obtained a license. 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.

HMO - Management Orders

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.

Last reviewed: 18 - 09 - 2018

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