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Mandatory Licensing

Mandatory Licensing has been in place since April 2006 and will continue indefinitely (unless legislation changes).

This runs throughout England and applies to all properties that are 3 or more stories with 5 or more occupants (from more than 1 households– see the definition of households below).

NOTE: The definition for Mandatory Licensing will soon be changing and this means that more properties are likely to fall under the Mandatory Licensing scheme. You should ensure that you keep yourself updated on the changes to legislation.

Owners of HMOs of a 'prescribed description' must apply for a licence.

HMOs of 3 or more storeys occupied by 5 or more unrelated people in two or more households, but which are not buildings converted solely into self-contained flats must have a licence. 'Storeys' can include basements and loft conversions but not usually cellars or attics. 

Households

Households: a household can be one person or several people. A group of people that are related, or living as a couple or family are 1 household*.

*includes couples, same sex couples and children including fostered and adopted and any other relatives.

NOTE: Where tenants claim to be related we expect landlords and/or managers to have taken out appropriate checks to be confident that they are related and the property is not being occupied as a HMO.

Examples:

  • Three friends = 3 households
  • A couple and a 1 friend = 2 households
  • A couple living with their parent are 1 household
  • A couple, sharing with 3 strangers who are all friends but not related would be 4 households
  • 2 friends would be 2 household because they are not related
  • 2 families would be 2 households

Anyone can apply for a licence, but they must nominate a person or a company to be the licence holder. This would often be the owner, but could also be a managing agent or anyone else, provided that the licence holder has sufficient financial control over the property.

Fees

You can download, view or save the fee table here.

These are the licensing fees as of 1st December 2013.

The Housing Act 2004 sets out that the licensing fee is set by the Local Authority and that this fee is required for an application to be considered as ‘duly made*’.

*duly made is the point in which we accept an application as being submitted with all of the information that is legally required

The City Council may decide to issue the Licence for any amount of time, up to a maximum of five years. 

What happens if I do not apply for a renewal before the date of expiry of my current Licence?

Nottingham City Council will apply the fee which is applicable at the time the application is received for renewals, irrespective of whether any lower fee was applicable at the time a previous Licence expired. 

How To 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. 

As of early 2018; only card payments will be taken via the online application system and will be required before the application is submitted to us.

Requirements for a Licence

The Council will consider whether:

  • the property is suitable for the number of persons requested
  • the proposed licence holder and manager are 'fit and proper persons'
  • the arrangements for managing the property are satisfactory as per the HMO Management Regulations

The Council will use the information you provide in the application and may also inspect the property to make its assessment.  It will then either refuse or grant a licence. Licenses will have certain standard conditions relating to the management of the property and may have other conditions requiring, for example, the installation of further amenities.

Appeal Against Condition(s)

Before issuing the full licence (or refusal) we issue a draft licence (or refusal).  This gives you the opportunity to study the document and then make representations to us.  Once the full licence (or refusal) has been issued, you have 28 days to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT).  Please visit the RPT pages for details of how to appeal.  

Failure to apply for a Licence

Landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence face prosecution and a criminal record, with fines of up to £20,000 or a Civil Penalty notice of up to £30,000. With prosecutions; the City Council may apply for all the income the property has generated, whilst unlicensed, to be seized, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  If the landlord is convicted of failing to apply for a licence, tenants will also be able to apply to have their rent repaid.

Further Information about HMO Licensing

Please click here to visit the DASH - Decent and Safe Homes website for further information or the Legislation website Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 371. You can also contact the HMO Team within Environmental Health.

If you are the owner, manager or person in control of an HMO and are in any doubt whether it needs a Licence, please contact the HMO Team within Environmental Health on 0115 915 2020 (Options 5) or by e-mail at hmo@nottinghamcity.gov.uk  for clarification.

Planning Permission

There are restrictions which apply to changing the use of dwellings.  Please visit the Planning pages of the web site for further information, particularly in relation to the Article 4 Direction which applies directly to the conversion of single family dwellings into HMOs.

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