Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) became mandatory in April 2006 with the introduction of the Housing Act 2004. This means that larger, higher risk HMOs will probably require a licence, if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Five or more occupants
- Two or more separate households
The Act also allows for additional and selective licensing of properties which means that particular types of properties, or properties in certain designated areas, will also have to be licensed.
In Rushcliffe, there is currently no additional or selective licensing. Licences can last up to five years and will have conditions attached to them that must be complied with.
For a licence to be issued the Council must be satisfied that the landlord is a fit and proper person, that satisfactory management arrangements are in place and that the property meets certain standards in relation to facilities and amenities.
Within 5 years of a licensing inspection being carried out the Council is required to do a visit to assess whether there are any hazards that warrant action by carrying out a housing health and safety rating system inspection.
The Council has a Public Register with information on all the houses in multiple occupation in Rushcliffe.
Fire safety in HMOs
Whenever a housing health and safety rating system inspection is carried out, a risk rating is carried out in relation to fire. As part of the licensing process landlords will be asked to provide an adequate fire detection system and it will be recommended that adequate fire separation and emergency lighting is also provided.
Guidance on what you are likely to be asked to be able to achieve is available on the Decent and Safe Homes website. It must be noted that this is guidance and the type of detection and separation that is required must reflect the risk from the layout of the property, the length of tenancies and the behaviour of the occupiers that are reside at the property.
If you rent out a property for multiple occupation you may require a licence from the local authority. The current fees are for a five year period.
Am I eligible?
Any house that is occupied by 5 or more persons who do not form part of the same household (i.e. a family) will require a licence.
The applicant will be the owner of the house or the managing agent and the details of all owners, managing agents and person with interest in the property will be required in the application form together with full details of the house including plans and certificates.
Will tacit authority apply
You can now apply online for a new premises or to renew a current licence
Renewing current licences
You will be notified when your current licence is about to expire. To renew your licence, you can either download the renewal form or apply on line.
What happens next
Once your application form and certificates have been received the authority will process the application and make arrangements for the property to undergo a full amenity check.
Once this has been carried out the Council will issue you a draft licence, you will have a minimum of 14 days to make comments on the this draft.
At the expiration of the above period the Council having taken into consideration any comments made will issue the licence with conditions if applicable. These conditions may require work to be completed at the premises and will allocate time scales when these must be carried out.
What if my application is refused?
If your application is refused, you should contact the Council to discuss the reasons and your rights as to make an appeal.
You may appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal regarding the conditions attached to a licence or to revoke or vary it. The appeal must be made within 28 days from the decision being made.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first point of contact should be made with the service provider (the Council). If this has not worked and you are located in the UK then contact Consumer Direct or if outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Please see the Public licensing register section.