- What is a House In Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
- What is a Licensable HMO?
- How much does a Licence cost?
- Licensing requirements
- What happens when I have applied for a licence?
- Can the Council impose conditions in a licence?
- I need to tell the council about a change to my existing HMO Licence
- What redress do I have if my application fails?
- What redress does the Licence Holder have?
- Trade Associations that can give advice
- Housing Standards in HMO’s
- Fire Safety
- Living in a HMO
The definition of a HMO as set out in the Housing Act 2004 is complex. Generally a house in multiple occupation will be a property occupied by more than one household and more than two people, and may include bedsits, shared houses, non self contained flats and some self contained flats.
Houses fully converted into self contained flats will generally not be HMOs provided that they were converted in accordance with the ‘appropriate’ Building Regulation standards. This will, as a minimum be the 1991 Building Regulations.
If you rent out a property as a House in Multi Occupation (HMO) you may require a licence from your local authority. Applications must be made to the local housing authority.
The Government introduced the Mandatory Licensing Scheme from 6 April 2006. The scheme requires that larger HMO’s, with a greater risk to the occupier’s health and safety are licensed.
HMO’s which are required to have a licence are;
- properties with 5 or more occupiers (who form more than one household)
- set out over three storeys or more (including attic conversions, basements and commercial premises)
- and have an element of sharing of an amenity (at least two households share a bathroom or kitchen).
£750 for a five year period
Licences 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
- the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be a manager
- the management arrangements are satisfactory
Once you have applied for a licence you will be able to act as though you application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.
If you wish to check the progress of your application please contact the Housing Standards department.
Yes The Council must set certain conditions to ensure the safety of furniture, and gas and electrical installations in the HMO. The council may also set conditions relating to the facilities, its condition and the management of the property.
For further information see the Licensing of houses in multiple occupation - Fact Sheet 1a (see Related Documents).
If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular property constitutes a HMO or is a HMO and requires Licensing under the Mandatory Licensing Scheme then you should contact the Torbay Council Housing Standards team
In the first instance please contact the Housing Standard.
You may appeal to a residential property tribunal (RPT). Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made. Please contact the council in the first instance.
The licence holder may appeal to a residential property tribunal (RPT) regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of a decision being made.
Houses in Multiple Occupation tend to pose a greater risk to the occupier’s health and safety. The Council protects the health and safety of occupiers in such properties by inspecting them and encouraging landlords and tenants to work together to maintain satisfactory standards.
Prudent landlords should have a maintenance programme which includes repairs, re-decoration and long term improvements. Repairs can be very expensive unless kept under control. Appropriate budgets should be established to finance both planned and responsive repairs.
In order to ensure that HMO’s provide suitable conditions for people to live in, Torbay Council requires that certain amenity standards are met. These standards are set out in the Suitability for occupation – amenity standards. For further information view Licensing of houses in multiple occupation - Fact Sheet 1b (see Related Documents).
Further to the amenity standards, all HMO’s are subject to Management Regulations. It is the responsible person’s duty to comply with the relevant Management Regulations. Torbay Council works with landlords to help them fulfill their duties and where necessary will take action to ensure that they do.
An overview of the Management Regulations is set out in Licensing of houses in multiple occupation - Fact Sheet 1c (see Related Documents).
If you are unsure which Management Regulations apply to a particular property you should contact Torbay Council Housing Standards team.
Licensable HMO’s under the Mandatory Licensing Scheme will have further conditions to which they must adhere throughout the period of the License. These conditions are described in the Licensing of houses in multiple occupation - Fact Sheet 1a (see Related Documents).
Houses in Multiple Occupation tend to pose a greater risk to the occupier’s health and safety in general and through fire in particular.
Extra controls are necessary in order to protect occupiers of HMO’s from the risk of fire. Guidance upon what controls are necessary depending upon the characteristics of the HMO is set out in the LACORS fire safety in residential accommodation. For further information visit the LACORS website
The Housing Act 2004 contains the powers which enable Councils to take action where a range of housing hazards, including the risk of fire, occur.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) requires that the ‘responsible person’ must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. Guidance and resources to help you to complete a risk assessment are available on the Communities: Fire Safety website. HM Government - A Short Guide to Making Your Premises Safe from Fire also contains useful information.and is available (see Related Documents).
If you are living in a HMO you have a responsibility not to damage the property and to co-operate with the manager to ensure that the HMO is run properly. If you would like further information regarding your rights and obligations as a tenant you should visit the Directgov website or contact Torbay Council Housing Standards team.
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- British Property Federation
- Communities: Fire Safety
- LACORS - HMO Fire Safety
- National Federation of Property Professionals
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 01803 208025
- Fax: 01803 208854