HMO licensing - frequently asked questions
What is an HMO?
HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation. However, it does not have to be a house. It can be a building or a part of a building if...
- it is used for living accommodation
- by more than two people
- who are not part of the same family
- who share one or more basic amenities (bath/shower, WC or kitchen)
- and pay rent
In certain circumstances, some properties converted into flats can also be HMOs.
As far as licensing is concerned, attics and basements are included as storeys if they are used as part of the living accommodation.
What does licensing mean?
Landlords have to complete application forms and pay a fee, and we then assess whether the property is suitable for the number of people the landlord wants to rent it to. We will visit the property to assess if kitchen facilities and fire precautions are adequate. We will then decide whether or not to grant a licence and if the licence needs to include any conditions requiring any changes. We have to consult with the landlord about the proposed licence before we finalise it.
Why is a citywide additional licensing scheme being brought in?
- What is additional licensing?
- What about good landlords who already manage their properties well?
- Is this a money making scheme for the council?
When and what is the scheme?
- When does the citywide additional licensing scheme start?
- What happens to the existing licensing schemes?
- l have already paid for a licence as part of the city centre Additional Licensing Scheme. Would I need to apply for a new licence?
- What types of HMO does additional licensing cover?
- Is it true that houses converted into flats are not covered by the scheme?
- Are purpose built blocks of flats included in the additional licensing scheme?
- Is a single storey flat above commercial premises subject to additional licensing?
- How much does an HMO licence cost?
- Can I pay the licensing fee in instalments?
- Which accreditation schemes receive a reduction in the fee?
- If I have more than one licensable HMO, do I have to make an application for them?
- How do I apply for a licence?
- What happens if my HMO should be licensed but I don't apply for one?
What is the process?
- How does additional HMO licensing work?
- Once I have applied for a licence, when will my property be inspected and how often?
- What happens if I want to sell my licensed HMO?
- If I get an HMO licence will I still need planning permission?
- Can I appeal a decision?
- What happens if I don't comply with the conditions of the HMO licence?
- Are any properties exempt from HMO Licensing?
What are the conditions and standards?
- What conditions are applied to an HMO licence?
- As a freeholder, am I expected to carry out work within individual flats over which I have no control, eg those owned by lessees and sub let as an HMO, as part of the process?
- Will wash hand basins in bedrooms be required?
- As a landlord, how might I be expected to tackle anti-social behaviour?