Larger HMOs can be difficult to manage so can often have poorer physical and management standards than other privately rented properties.
As HMOs are the only housing option for some people, the government considers that they must be properly regulated.
Anyone who owns or manages an HMO which falls within the mandatory licensing provisions must apply to the Council for a licence.
All licences will specify the maximum number of people who may live in the HMO as well as the permitted occupancy of each bedroom. All licenses include the following mandatory conditions:
- valid and current gas safety certificate, renewed annually.
- proof that all electrical appliances and furniture are kept in a safe condition.
- provide each occupier with a written statement of the terms on which they occupy the property (i.e. a tenancy agreement).
- provision of smoke alarms on each storey used as living accommodation, maintenance of same, supplying on demand, and a declaration as to their condition and positioning.
- provision of a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a fixed combustion appliance other than a gas cooker, maintenance of same and supplying on demand, and a declaration as to their condition and positioning.
- provision of sufficient refuse and recycling bins and regular scheduled bin collections.
The council may also apply additional conditions to the license, based on the circumstances.
A licence will normally last for a maximum of five years.
Licences are not transferable. If the property is sold within five years and the new owner continues to operate it as a licensable HMO, they will need to make a new application.