Houses in multiple occupation licence

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Introduction

Certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) require a licence. Applications can be completed online using the HMO Licence Application link, which must be completed in full accompanied with the correct fee. Any section not completed or failure to upload required documents will result in the determination of the licence being delayed, and could lead to the refusal to issue a licence.

The law regarding the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) has changed.

Qualifying criteria

Type of licence Applicable in Peterborough Criteria
Mandatory (HMO) Yes Five or more people from two or more households
Additional No Not applicable
Selective Yes in certain areas only Any privately rented properties in the relevant areas that do not meet mandatory HMO criteria

The basic criteria for a house (or part of it) to be considered to be a house in multiple occupation is that:

  • it consists of one or more living units that are not self contained flats
  • the people living in it do not form a single household
  • it is their only or main residence
  • rent or similar is paid by at least one occupier
  • two or more of the households share at least one of the basic amenities.

For the purposes of a Mandatory Licence, the following criteria apply:

  • there must be at least five people occupying the building
  • the occupants must form at least two households.

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What buildings are covered

Regulation 4(c) of the Prescribed Description Order 2018 describes the categories of HMO that are subject to mandatory licensing. They are:

  • a) HMOs that meet the standard test under section 254(2) of the Act;
  • b) HMOs that meet the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of the Act but are not purpose built flats situated in a block comprising 3 or more self-contained flats; and
  • c) HMOs that meet the converted building test under section 254(4) of the Act.

More detail on these categories can be found in the HMOs and residential property licensing reforms guidance.

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Fees

The fees for each HMO application are:

Any application made voluntarily by the applicant £750
Any application made for a property operating without a licence where the council has requested an application £900

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What you will need

Mortgage details including name of provider, company address and company email address  ✔
Copy of current gas safety certificate (if the property has mains gas)  ✔
Copy of valid and satisfactory periodic inspection report for the electrical installation  ✔
Copy of managing contract (if a managing agent is employed)  ✔
Signed copy of Fit & Proper statement from licence holder/property manager (see Supporting Documents)  ✔
Proposed licence holder’s proof of address (e.g utility bill)  ✔
Manager’s proof of address (if property manager is being used)  ✔
Smoke detection and fire precaution details including location of all smoke detectors and type (e.g. battery or mains), location of all heat detectors and location of carbon monoxide detectors  ✔
Passport of driving license of the proposed licence holder and/or property manager (if different from the proposed licence holder)  ✔
A copy of the fire risk assessment if applicable  ✔

Please note: Acceptable forms of photo ID are Passport or drivers licence. If the property manager is a company then the photo ID must be of the nominated responsible person (e.g. a director).

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Who needs to apply

Owners of HMOs must apply for a licence when it is a HMO occupied by five or more unrelated people in two or more households, but which are not buildings converted solely into self-contained flats.

Anyone can apply for a licence, but they must nominate a person or a company to be the licence holder. This would often be the owner, but could also be a managing agent or anyone else, provided that the licence holder has sufficient financial control over the property.

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How to apply

Please note:

  • Any delays in submitting a full application could result in the HMO being considered to be operating without a licence and could leave the persons in control vulnerable to enforcement action. Payment of the fee in respect of applications is part of the application and an application is not considered to have been made until the fee is paid. There is no provision to pay the fee by instalments.
  • The application form will take approximately 45 minutes to complete in full.
  • After having clicked 'Apply now' and before you start the online application, we recommend that you click on 'Log in to save' (as prompted at the top of the page next to the council logo) so you can return to your form later if necessary. This will also prevent you potentially losing any details you have entered after a period of inactivity.
  • As the upload limit for attachments (e.g. Gas Certificate) is 20MB, you may have to reduce the resolution on photo images taken on new phones.
  • You will only be offered the Fit and Proper Persons questions within the online form if you are the proposed licence holder. If you are applying on behalf of the proposed licence holder or the property manager, you must get them to complete the Fit and Proper Persons Form. separately and upload it with the application.
  • If you are returning to an application you have previously saved, please log in to continue.

Failure to apply for a licence

Landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence face the risk of further enforcement action which could include a financial penalty of up to £30,000 or a prosecution with an unlimited fine. In addition to this, a record of non-compliance with Housing Law may affect your ability to hold a licence.

Where successful prosecutions or multiple financial penalties are issued, a banning order may be obtained against the guilty person; this would mean they are unable to hold a licence and may result in their properties being taken over by the Council.

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Frequently asked questions

Q: I rent a house with five occupants and already hold a selective license, do I need to apply for a mandatory too?

A: No, your license will be passported to the mandatory HMO scheme following an inspection. We will contact you in due course.

Q: I'm buying a five-person HMO in the selective licensing area, which licence do I need to apply for?

A: You will need to apply for a Mandatory HMO.

Q: Do I need a licence if my property is occupied by four or less people?

A: No. A licence is only required for houses occupied by five or more people, however the property is still a HMO and you must comply with fire safety, pace standards and amenity standards and management regulations.

Q: What happens when HMO is sold within the five years from fee being paid?

A: If a property is sold then the licence must be revoked. There is no refund given. If the new purchaser continues to use the property as a HMO then they must apply for a brand new licence. If the property is sold and becomes a family home then no further action is required. If a new landlord takes it on then the new landlord will have to apply for his/her own licence which will run for another five years.

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Supporting documents

HMO Licence and TEN Register

Size: 396.91 KB File format: pdf

Fit and Proper Persons Statement

Size: 117.37 KB File format: pdf

LACORS Fire Safety

Size: 1,008.82 KB File format: pdf

SI 372 Statutory management regulations

Size: 57.76 KB File format: pdf

SI 370 Licensing prescribed exemptions

Size: 48.68 KB File format: pdf

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