Additional Licensing of HMOs
What does it mean for me?
Before the 1st January 2014, only HMOs which have 3 or more storeys* and are occupied by 5 or more people, that form two or more households, needed a Licence (this excludes self-contained flats). In Nottingham however, the Council has implemented an Additional Licensing scheme, which requires all privately rented HMOs, which are located within a designated area, to be Licenced. Additional Licensing will operate in the same way and alongside the existing Mandatory Licensing scheme. The same process will be followed, with the same legal obligations and penalties for failing to comply with the requirements.
* 'Storeys' can include basements and loft conversions but not usually cellars or attics (unless they are converted into living accommodation).
Why is Additional Licensing being introduced?
The Council is introducing an Additional Licensing scheme in Nottingham to:
- Ensure that these HMOs are managed properly
- Improve neighbourhoods in the designated area
- Reduce complaints of noise, rubbish, housing disrepair and other anti-social behaviour related to HMOs
- Continue to improve the HMO private rented sector
- Ensure the Licence holder and manager are suitable
- Ensure fundamental basic standards of accommodation are provided including safe gas and electrics, fire safety, suitable room sizes and adequate provision of kitchens and bathrooms for the number of occupants
- Assist in identifying and dealing with rogue landlords
Will I need to apply for a Licence under the new scheme?
Landlords and managing agents will need to apply for a Licence to run a property as a HMO if:
- The property is occupied by 3 or more people and
- The tenants form 2 or more households and
- It falls within the Additional Licensing designated area
Although the Council is aware of many of the HMO's for which this scheme applies, it is not the responsibility of Nottingham City Council to prompt or remind you to apply for a Licence. The responsibility lies with the owner or the managing agent, who is usually the person having control of the property (receives the rack rent for the property).
If I'm a tenant, how will the Licence affect me?
The Additional Licence will help ensure the fundamental basic standards of accommodation are provided for tenants, which include; safe gas and electrics, fire safety, suitable room sizes, and adequate provision of kitchens and bathrooms for the number of occupants. The Licence also requires that the HMO is maintained so that it doesn't have a negative impact on the local neighbourhood, and that reasonable steps are taken to deal with any anti-social behaviour by the occupants.
Landlords and managing agents who own or manage a HMO located within the designated area have a legal obligation to hold a Licence and ensure they comply with the conditions. Those not meeting the basic requirements may need to make improvements to the property to bring them up to standard. Landlords failing to do so may incur penalties and could be prosecuted.
To find out more information please refer to the . You may also find the following websites useful:
How do I apply for a licence?
To apply for a HMO licence please use the link below.
Or download an application form below.
Alternatively you can contact the HMO Team and ask for an application pack to be sent to you by post or e-mail.
Please complete the form, in conjunction with the HMO Licence application guidance notes, and return to us along with the fee and requested supporting documents.
How do I pay for a Licence?
Payment can be made by cheque (payable to Nottingham City Council) or over the telephone by debit or credit card. Please note that the City Council does not accept cash.
Additional HMO Licensing Handbook
To find out more about what an Additional HMO Licence is, who needs to apply and how to apply, please refer to our HMO Additional Licence Handbook [3Mb].
When does it start and when shall I apply?
The Additional Licensing designation came into effect on 1st January 2014. If you are a landlord or managing agent operating a HMO property within the designated area, you may need to apply for a Licence now.
It is an offence under Section 72 of the Housing Act 2004, if a person having control of, or managing a HMO operates a Licensable HMO which is required to Licenced under the Additional or Mandatory Licensing Scheme, but which is not so Licenced. The maximum fine is £20,000.
Qualifying landlords who do not apply for a Licence, may also be subject to the following:
Rent Repayment Orders
- A tenant living in a property which should have been Licenced, but was not, can apply to the First-tier tribunal - Property Chamber (formerly known as the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT)) to claim back rent they have paid to landlords during the unlicensed period (up to a limit of 12 months).
- The Council 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 Licenced, but was not, cannot be evicted by serving a Section 21, Housing Act 1988 Notice, until the HMO is Licenced, or a Management Order is in place.
Additional penalties may also apply. Please refer to the HMO Additional Licensing Handbook or contact the HMO Team for further information.
How long will Additional Licensing last and how long will my Licence last for?
The Additional Licensing scheme will last for 5 years, until 2018. Your Licence can be issued for up to 5 years. Licences will be issued right up until the end of the scheme.
What is the designated area for Additional Licensing?
The Additional Licensing designation (area) covers a significant part of the city centre and inner city areas. The designation covered includes some or all of the following areas: Arboretum, Dunkirk, Lenton, the Meadows, Sneinton, the Park, Radford, Hyson Green, Forest Fields, New Basford, Carrington, St Ann's and Mapperley.
To find out if a property is within the designation visit http://geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty.
What is a Section 257 HMO?
Section 257 of the Act relates to a "converted block of flats" which is a building (or part of a building) which has been converted into, and consists of, self-contained flats. Buildings of this description are HMOs if;
- the conversion work was not done in accordance with 'appropriate building standards' and
- less than two-thirds of the self-contained flats are owner-occupied.
'Appropriate building standards' usually means the 1991 Building Regulations or whichever later Building Regulations applied at the time the work was done.
The legislation which covers houses converted solely into self contained flats ('Section 257 HMOs') and can be found at Section 257 HMOs
Does a Section 257 HMO require a Licence?
Check a property
To check whether a property is within the designated area go to:
http://geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty and enter the postcode.
Alternatively, the designation can be inspected at Exchange Buildings North, Smithy Row, NG1 2BS during office hours (9:00am to 5:00pm). Please contact the HMO team to arrange this.
All landlords, property managers or tenants within the designated area should seek advice on whether their property is affected by the designation by contacting the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Team.
For further information, including fees and how to apply, please refer to our FAQs [241kb]
On 25th September 2013, Nottingham City Council, in exercise of its powers under section 56 of the Housing Act 2004, designated an area as subject to Additional Licensing. The designation shall come into effect on the 1st January 2014.
For further information
How to contact us
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, or if you need further advice, please contact the HMO team:
Telephone: 0115 8763400 or 0115 9152020 (Option 4)
Post: HMO Team, Environmental Health, Community Protection, Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham. NG2 3NG (postal address only)