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HMO Licensing

HMO Licensing

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HMO Licensing

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  1. HMO Licensing A Guide for Landlords Paul Mishkin MCIEH Environmental Health Officer

  2. Introduction - Housing Act 2004 • HMO Licensing - why now? • What HMOs will need a Licence? • How do I apply for a Licence? • Will the Council inspect before issuing a Licence? • What conditions will the Council impose? • What do I do next? • Further information

  3. Introduction - Housing Act 2004 • Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 relates to HMO Licensing. • Due to come into force 6th April 2006, although the enforcement provisions will be implemented later on 3rd July 2006. • Housing Act 2004 also brings in the new HHSRS, selective licensing, EDMOs • Part of Govt. drive to reform PRS and modernise the approach taken both by Councils and Landlords.

  4. HMO Licensing - why now? • EHOs and others have been campaigning for HMO Licensing for years. • Labour manifesto commitment since 1997. • PRS is improving, Landlords becoming more professional, stock condition improving. • However a minority of rogue Landlords still remain, and many in control of high risk HMOs; hence the introduction of mandatory Licensing with defined parameters.

  5. What HMOs will need a Licence? • Mandatory HMO Licensing relates to specific high risk HMOs • There will also be additional Licensing for other HMOs where the Council feels it is relevant and gets permission from Govt. to run such a scheme. • Mandatory Licensable HMO is an HMO: 3+ storeys (inc. occupied basements, attics, commercial storeys e.g. GF restaurant will be counted as a storey); 5+ occupants consisting of 2+ households; Amenities (bathroom/wc/kitchen) being shared, or completely lacking - HMOs in self contained flats will therefore NOT require a Licence.

  6. How do I apply for a Licence? • You should approach the Council and request an HMO Licence application pack; • Complete all relevant details and be aware that you will be required to sign a legal declaration stating that you are a ‘fit and proper person’; • The application form will also require specific details about the property and the management of the property, seek advice from the Council if you need help completing it.

  7. Will the Council inspect before issuing a Licence? • Council’s will be under a duty not only to ensure that all Licensable HMOs are Licensed but that the Licensing scheme operates well; • They will also be required to ensure that no Category 1 hazards under HHSRS are present within a Licensable HMO within 5 years of the date of HMO Licence application. • This means that the Council will definitely inspect; however exactly when they programme this inspection will depend on any previous involvement with the property (inc. any risk assessments) as well as other factors. As a general rule HMOs with no previous Council involvement will have an inspection at point of application.

  8. What conditions will the Council impose? • A Licence will have various conditions attached to it, some are mandatory conditions whereas others will be locally agreed discretionary conditions. • Mandatory conditions include production of a gas safety cert., elec. test certs. (PAT tests), to keep furniture in a safe condition (i.e. compliant with fire regs.), to have appropriately located operational smoke alarms and to provide occupants with a written statement of terms (i.e. tenancy agreement). • Discretionary conditions may include requirements to provide certain amenities to keep the property up to minimum standards, as well as reducing ASB and prohibiting use of parts of the property.

  9. What do I do next? • Approach the Council to find out local arrangements such as Licence fees and whether any additional Licensing schemes are being introduced; • Approach LLAS - if you become accredited you may get a discount for the Licence fee and will help you prove that you are a ‘fit and proper person’; • Stay up to date with developments and ‘best practice’

  10. Further information • www.propertylicence.gov.uk • Council Env. Health dept. • Landlord’s organisations • London Landlord’s Accreditation Scheme - www.londonlandlords.org.uk/accreditation/home