What happens next?

Once your application form has been submitted, it will be considered by the council. This process typically takes up to 13 weeks.

  1. You will receive an automated email after submitting an online application form confirming successful submission (same day)

  2. Your application will be validated, ensuring all questions in the form have been completed correctly. This typically takes up to 10 business days. You will then receive a further email confirming the validity of the application. If it's valid, it will be assigned to a housing standards officer for consideration. If it's not valid, you will be contacted for further information. Additional fees may be payable in the case of incomplete, invalid or incorrect applications

    If you have not received a response after 10 days, please contact [email protected].

  3. A housing standards officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of the property as part of the application process. The typical waiting period for an inspection is up to 28 days which is also dependent on your availability. The inspection may take up to 2 hours

  4. Once the application has been considered, a draft (or ‘minded to’) letter and licence certificate will be sent to you and any other relevant people, typically 28 days after property inspection

  5. Assuming there are no representations (objections), the final licence will then be issued approximately 3 weeks following the draft licence, by email. Any other relevant people will receive an email informing the licence has been issued

Please note: we send all licensing correspondence by email; therefore, it is important that we have your current email address on file. If the email address changes during the lifetime of the licence, it is your responsibility to inform us of this change. You can email [email protected], stating the licence number, renewal reference and the licensed property’s address. Please remember to check your email spam and junk folders, as some filters may place correspondence here.

A licence will be granted if:

  • the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence. Please download the fit and proper person assessment form
  • the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory

Fines and penalties

It is an offence:

  • to not have a licence for a property that requires one; or
  • to allow occupation of an HMO over the number of people permitted; or
  • to fail to comply with any condition of the licence

You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unliensed HMO or a fine of up to £5000 for breaching a condition of the licence upon conviction (as at October 2018). Local authorities are also able to issue landlords with civil penalty notices of up to £30,000 per offence as an alternative to prosecution.

Rent repayment orders

A tenant living in a property that should have been licensed but was not, can apply to the First Tier Property Tribunal to claim back any rent they have paid during the unlicensed period (up to a limit of 12 months). Councils can also reclaim any housing benefit that has been paid during the time the property was without a licence.

Restrictions on termination of tenancies

Tenants living in a property that should have been licensed but was not, cannot be evicted by serving a section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice until such time as the HMO is licensed or a management order is in place.

Will tacit consent apply?

Applications for HMO licences are processed as quickly as possible and within a maximum of six months (known as the "initial period") which starts running from the time when all documentation has been submitted. However, where the application is particularly complex that period may be extended by up to a further two months ("extension period"). If this is necessary you will receive written notification, with the reason for it, of this extension to the period.

Failure by us to process the application within the initial period or, if appropriate, the extended period, will mean that your licence is deemed to have been granted.

Incomplete applications

In the case of an incomplete application, you will be informed of:

  1. the need to supply any additional documentation
  2. any possible effects on the period(s) referred to above

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.  You may appeal to the First Tier Property tribunal.  Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance. You may appeal to the First Tier Property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Public register of licensed HMOs

Download the public register.