A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) refers to a property occupied by multiple tenants who do not form a single household. HMOs are subject to licencing, HMO management regulations and HMO rules to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and well-maintained. In this article, we will describe when you will need to apply for an HMO licence, how to apply for it and tips for completing your HMO application.
Mandatory, Additional, and Selective Licencing Schemes
HMOs may be subject to mandatory, additional, or selective licencing schemes, depending on the local council. Under mandatory licencing, all HMOs with five or more tenants from different households must be licenced. For additional and selective licencing, the criteria for licencing are determined by the local council. Read these articles for more information on HMO licence requirements and HMO licence costs.
The Process of Applying for an HMO Licence
To obtain an HMO licence, there are several steps you need to follow. The first step is to check if your property falls under mandatory, additional, or selective licencing. Depending on the location of your property, the local council may require additional licencing or selective licencing, which means you may have to meet additional requirements before obtaining an HMO licence.
After checking the licencing requirements, the next step is to contact your local council or check their website to obtain the HMO licence application form and guidance on the licencing process. It’s crucial to carefully read and follow the guidance provided to ensure that your application is complete and accurate.
Once you have completed the application form and gathered all the required documents, you can submit them to the local council along with the application fee. The council will then review your application and will schedule a HMO inspection of your property to ensure that it meets the necessary standards. The inspection may involve checking the property’s safety features, such as smoke detectors and fire alarms, as well as the property’s general condition, including plumbing and electrical systems.
If your property meets the required standards, the local council will grant you an HMO licence. The licence will typically be valid for five years, and you will need to renew it before it expires.
Tips for Completing Your HMO Application
- Ensure that your property meets all the necessary standards before applying for a licence
- Complete the application form accurately and completely
- Submit all the required documents and information with the application
- Keep a copy of the application and all supporting documents for your records
- Follow up with the local council if you have not heard from them within a reasonable time period
Documents Required for Your HMO Application
Below, we’ll outline the key documents you’ll need for your HMO application. It’s worth noting that the exact requirements may vary depending on your local council, so it’s important to check their specific guidelines before submitting your application. By ensuring you have all the necessary documentation, you can help to streamline the application process and increase your chances of securing an HMO licence for your property.
- Proof of ownership of the property
- Names and addresses of all individuals and organisations with a vested interest in the property
- Copies of tenancy agreements
- Floor plans of the property
- Details of the heating, lighting, and ventilation systems
- Information on the condition of kitchens and bathrooms
- Fire safety measures in place
- A current gas safety certificate
- An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
- A fire safety certificate (for properties with a mains-wired fire alarm system)
- An emergency lighting certificate
- Proof of insurance
- Details of any previous licencing or enforcement action
- A fee to cover the cost of the licencing process
When to Renew an HMO Licence
HMO licences typically have a validity period of five years, after which they must be renewed. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that they renew their HMO licence before it expires. Failure to renew an HMO licence can result in fines..
The process for renewing an HMO licence is similar to applying for a new licence. The landlord will need to provide updated information about the property, such as the number of tenants and any changes to the facilities. They may also need to provide evidence of safety checks, such as gas safety certificates and electrical safety checks.
It is important to start the process of renewing an HMO licence well in advance of the expiry date, as it can take several weeks for the council to process the application. Landlords should also be aware that the requirements for HMO licences can change over time, so they may need to make additional improvements to their property to meet the new standards.
An HMO application is a comprehensive process that requires a property owner to take several steps to ensure that their property is licenced and in compliance with regulations. The licencing process for HMOs may vary between local councils, but the basic requirements remain the same.
A property owner must provide proof of ownership, copies of tenancy agreements, floor plans, and details of heating, lighting, and ventilation systems, among other things, to complete the application process. Additionally, the property must meet certain standards and regulations before it can be granted a licence. By following these guidelines and best practices, property owners can ensure that their HMO application process is successful and their property is in compliance with regulations.
For professional HMO lettings and HMO management in South London, or for help with a HMO conversion, feel free to contact us.