Mandatory HMO Licensing

From 1st October 2018 any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a licence.

Application for a HMO Licence

Please print a copy of the HMO Licence ApplicationHMO Application Guidance Notes and the HMO Amenity Standards Guide (Appendix 4) here or request a printed application form from us by emailing housing@northlincs.gov.uk or calling 01724 297000.

Applications to renew an existing HMO licence should be submitted two months before the existing licence expires.

With your HMO licence application you must also provide:

  • The appropriate HMO licence fee
    (see section below entitled HMO Licensing Fees) Please remember that the fee covers up to 5 rooms only, there is an extra fee per room after this.
  • A floor plan of the property indicating room sizes, location of the bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities plus the position of smoke alarms, emergency lighting units and fire doors
  • A current gas safety certificate, renewed annually (if the property has a gas supply).
    Any application received without this certificate will be invalid. Failure to provide an appropriate gas safety certificate within 14 days of request may result either in legal proceedings or a refused application.
  • EPC
  • A valid electrical test certificate. If you do not have one, you will be asked to supply one within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A portable appliance test certificate for any electrical equipment you supply as part of the tenancy. If you do not have a certificate, you will be asked to supply one within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A declaration that all upholstered furniture supplied complies with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988.   To comply with the regulations, your furniture must:
    • Carry a permanent and non-detachable manufacturer’s label
    • Have fire resistant filling material
    • Pass the ‘match resistance test’ as prescribed
    • Pass the ‘cigarette test’ as prescribed.
  • Details of what fire precautions currently exist in the property, including the location of any fire doors and smoke alarms.  If your property does not comply with required standards you will be required to install additional fire safety measures within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A written statement for each occupier of the terms on which they occupy the property, such as a tenancy agreement.
  • Evidence of current Public Liability Insurance cover.
  • A Basic Disclosure Document  (DBS check) for the purpose of the fit and proper person test.  No more than 2 months old.
  • A relevant Completion Certificate from Building Control for any adaptations or alterations made to the property.

Under the Housing Act 2004 Local Authorities may require a HMO Licence application to be accompanied by a fee fixed by the Authority.

HMO licensing fee procedure

There will be two stages to the mandatory HMO Licensing Process and fees for new applications from 1 October 2018 are as follows:

HMO Licensing Fees  Fee Extra Room Fee
Stage 1 Fee relates to processing the initial application – fee covers up to 5 rooms only (see extra room fee for each room after this) £470.00 £24.00
Stage 2 Fee relates to  ongoing administration of the licensing scheme – fee covers up to 5 rooms only (see extra room fee for each room after this) £370.00 £49.00
Total First Application Fee (stage 1 plus stage 2) £840.00 £73.00

Accredited Landlords will be given a 15% reduction on fees (see table below). There are significant benefits to being an accredited landlord. Further information on Landlord Accreditation is available on the website of North Lincolnshire Council or by contacting the council’s Environmental Health and Housing Team.

Accredited Landlord – HMO Licensing Fees (15% reduction)  Fee Extra Room Fee
Stage 1 Fee relates to processing the initial application – fee covers up to 5 rooms only (see extra room fee for each room after this) £400.00 £20.00
Stage 2 Fee relates to  ongoing administration of the licensing scheme – fee covers up to 5 rooms only (see extra room fee for each room after this) £314.00 £42.00
Total First Application Fee (stage 1 plus stage 2) £714.00 £62.00

We aim to process all valid HMO licence applications as quickly as possible. The length of the application process will depend on circumstances, including whether we need to inspect the property to confirm it is suitable for licensing.

Tacit approval is not automatically given to any application for a HMO Licence.  In the interest of public safety, each licence application must be given full consideration by the council before it can be approved.

Once a HMO licence application has been approved, the HMO licence will be valid for up to five years but may be for a shorter period, depending upon circumstances.

In some cases the HMO licence may not be granted for the full five years, for example if there are any concerns over the management of the property or if there has been a history of problems of anti-social behaviour associated with the property.

Also, if you fail to make a timely application for a licence then the period of time that the property has been operating as a licensable HMO without a HMO licence may be reduced. This is to ensure equity with those landlords who have made timely applications

Attached to a licence will be North Lincolnshire Council’s HMO Licence Conditions – please see the following section for full details of these.

The standard conditions include provisions that require the licence holder to comply with any scheme which is provided by the local housing authority to the licence holder and which relates to the storage and disposal of household waste at the HMO pending collection.

In some circumstances, we may also apply additional licence conditions that:

  • Restrict the use or occupation of parts of the HMO
  • Require you to take steps to deal with anti-social behaviour if there are any reported problems
  • Require you to improve the condition of the property and its contents, such as furniture, bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities
  • Require you to carry out works to make the house is suitable for occupation by the intended maximum number of persons or households within a specified timeframe
  • Require the licence holder or manager to attend an approved training course.

Changes to the property

If you have increased the number of bedrooms in a house in multiple occupancy (HMO), you will need to apply for a change to the licence known as a variation. The alterations you have made may mean that additional facilities are required.

Changes in managing agent or licence holder

If the managing agent is the HMO licence holder, the licence will need to be revoked and the new managing agent will have to apply for a licence in their own right.

If the managing agent is not the licence holder, the licence will need to be changed to show the new manager.

If the managing agent is not the licence holder or manager, you need to write to us, and we will update our records. You will not be charged for this.

Selling the property

If you are the HMO licence holder, then the existing licence will be revoked by the council. The new owner will have to apply for a licence in their own right if it is to continue as an HMO.

If you are not the licence holder, then the licence holder may apply for a change to the existing licence, known as a variation. This is particularly important if you were identified as the manager of the property, but will not continue to act as the manager.

Converting the property

You may either:

  • Request in writing that the licence be revoked, or
  • Allow the licence to run until it expires then notify the council that it is no longer required.

Section 232 of the Housing Act 2004 requires all Local Authorities to establish and maintain a register of:

  • All licenses granted under Part 2 and 3 of the Act (HMO and selective licensing);
  • All temporary exemption notices served;
  • All management orders made;

Access to the Public Register can be found here.    For further detailed information about the licensing conditions for any particular property please contact Housing on 01724 297000 or email housing@northlincs.gov.uk