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Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
The Housing Act 2004 introduced the mandatory licensing of certain types of HMO. The requirement means that owners of properties of a prescribed description must apply to the local authority for a licence.
With effect from 6th April 2006, HMOs of a 'prescribed description' are required by law to be licensed. These are HMOs of 3 or more storeys occupied by 5 or more people in two or more households, but which are not buildings converted solely into self-contained flats. 'Storeys' can include basements and loft conversions but not usually cellars or attics.
Please click here to view the Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 371 for the regulations on prescribed description HMO's.
Who should apply for a licence?
Anyone can apply 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.
How do I apply for a licence?
Contact the HMO Team and ask for an application pack to be sent by post or e-mail. Or it is available for you to download. You will need to complete and return the application form with the fee and some supporting documents, such as an original proof of address. You will also need to advise anyone else that has an interest in the property (eg co-owners, mortgage lenders) that you have made an application.
Please see the guidance notes on how to fill out the application form. [157kb]
Please also see the general information for person applying for a Licence [154kb]
What is the fee?
Please note that the City Council does not accept cash.
- £980 - New licence
- £930 - New licence (subsequent applications made within 6 months of the first)
- £925 - Renewal
- £875 - Renewal (subsequent applications made within 6 months of the first)
The City Council may decide to issue the licence for any amount of time, up to a maximum of five years.What happens if I do not apply for re-licensing before the date of expiry of my current Licence?
Nottingham City Council will apply the fee which is applicable at the time the application is received for re-licensing, irrespective of whether any lower fee was applicable at the time a previous Licence expired.
What is necessary in order that a Licence is granted?
The Council will consider whether:
- the property is suitable for the number of persons requested
- the proposed licence holder and manager are 'fit and proper persons'
- the arrangements for managing the property are satisfactory. Please click here to view the Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 372 for the full description of HMO Management.
The Council will use the information you provide in the application and may also inspect the property to make its assessment. It will then either refuse or grant a licence. Licences will have certain standard conditions relating to the management of the property and may have other conditions requiring, for example, the installation of further wash hand basins or other amenities.
What if I disagree with the conditions?
Before issuing the licence we issue a draft licence. This gives you the opportunity to study the document and then make representations to us. Once the licence has been issued, you have 28 days to appeal to a Residential Property Tribunal (RPT). Please click here to visit the Residential Property Tribunal website for more information.
What if I don't apply for a licence?
Landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence face prosecution, fines of up to £20,000, get a criminal record and the City Council may apply for all the income the property has generated, whilst unlicensed, to be seized, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. If the landlord is convicted of failing to apply for a licence, tenants will also be able to apply to have their rent repaid.
Where can I find further information about licensing?
Please click here to visit the DASH - Decent and Safe Homes website for further information or the Legislation website Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 371. You can also contact the HMO Team within Environmental Health.
If you are the owner, manager or person in control of an HMO and are in any doubt whether it needs a Licence, please contact the HMO Team in Environmental Health for clarification.