If you rent out a property as a house in multiple occupation (HMO), you may require a licence from us. This is a house which is occupied by persons who do not form a single household and who may share one or more of the home’s facilities. Examples include bedsits, flats, shared houses and some properties occupied by students.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced a mandatory licensing scheme for larger HMOs to improve controls and conditions within these high risk dwellings.
The act also allows selective licensing of other smaller properties in certain designated areas. Currently there is no such additional scheme operating in Newark and Sherwood.
A property is likely to require a licence if all of the following applies:
- Shared facilities, such as kitchens, common rooms or bathrooms
- Not owned by a housing association or registered social landlord (RSL)
After receiving your application, we will usually carry out a visit to assess the property under the housing health and safety rating system. This will determine whether there are any hazards that require action and that the property meets certain standards in relation to facilities and amenities.
The licence gives the holder permission to operate the HMO for which the licence is held. Licences can last up to five years and will have ongoing conditions to be met. The licence cannot be transferred to another person or relate to more than one property.
Some larger houses will also now require planning permission. For further advice contact the council’s planning service.
Fire Safety in HMOs
Fire safety is an important factor when assessing the standards present in HMOs. Landlords must ensure they provide an adequate fire detection system, fire separation and emergency lighting provisions.
National guidance is available that provides advice on how to keep residential buildings safe from fire and how to carry out a fire risk assessment.
Application Evaluation process
Licences will be granted if we are satisfied that:
- The landlord is a ‘fit and proper person’ i.e. that they are a good landlord who complies with all necessary regulations
- The property is suitable for occupation by the number of persons specified in the licence
- The landlord has suitable management arrangements in place
- The property is being kept to the required standards and there are adequate means of escape if there's a fire
Application for a HMO licence
The application and consultation period lasts 2 to 3 months. If you have not heard anything in 3 to 4 weeks from the date of application, please contact us.
Failed application or licence holder redress
If you have any complaints, please contact us in the first instance. You can appeal to a Residential Property Tribunal. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.