Overview of the HMO licensing process
This page contains an overview of the HMO licensing process from application to licence renewal.
The person managing or having control of the HMO must apply for a licence. Applications can be made online, or you can contact us for a paper application form. The Stage 1 licence fee payment must accompany the application. We aim to issue your licence within 12 weeks of receiving a valid application (tacit consent does not apply). A valid application comprises a fully completed application form, fee paid, and where the licence holder is different to the applicant, a separate signed declaration.
Shortly after receiving your application we will contact you to arrange an inspection. We inspect all HMO properties before issuing or renewing the licence. When inspecting, we are looking for significant hazards under the HHSRS, HMO Management Regulation breaches, and assessing the property's overall suitability for occupation against the regulations and our 2018 HMO Standards. We use the information gathered during this inspection to draft necessary licence conditions and to inform our decision on the level of Stage 2 licence fee, plus any other courses of action we deem appropriate.
Draft HMO Licence
If we are satisfied that the property, licence holder and management arrangements are suitable, we will issue a draft licence (the "Intention Notice"). This will generally be sent by email, and will include a request for the Stage 2 licence fee payment. You have 14 days to pay the stage 2 fee. The higher-rate fee will be charged if the standard fee is not paid within 14 days. We will not grant the final licence until the required fee is paid in full.
All our HMO licences include mandatory licence conditions plus a number of discretionary conditions as standard. Licences may also include property-specific conditions to regulate the management, use, occupation, condition, or contents of the particular HMO.
If we decide not to grant a licence, we will issue you with a notice to that effect and you will have an opportunity to appeal this decision.
You have 14 days from when we issue the Intention Notice to object to any aspects of the licence and its conditions. We will then consider your representations and either accept or reject them and inform you accordingly. If we accept any, we will issue you with a revised draft licence, known as the "Modification Notice" which gives you a further 7 days to make representations.
Once the representation period has expired, we will then issue the actual HMO licence, known as the "Decision Notice". This is live from the date of service, meaning the licence and all of the licence conditions in it become legally enforceable from the day we send it to you. Licences last a maximum of five years, but may be issued for shorter durations if we have concerns. The licence is property and person specific, and is not transferrable.
If you are not happy with any of our decisions, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) within 28 days of receiving the Decision Notice. Any decisions we make will be in accordance with our HMO Licensing Policy.
We will re-inspect your property at intervals to check compliance with the licence conditions, and before renewing your licence. It is an offence not to comply with any licence conditions and you may be prosecuted. We may also vary or revoke your licence if we find offences or have any concerns about the management of the HMO.
You must renew your licence before it expires.
If your licence has expired, or you wish to change licence holder, you will need to make a new HMO licence application.