Homes in Multiple Occupancy


A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property that is occupied by at least three unrelated people.

Examples of HMOs are properties occupied as bedsits, shared houses, non self-contained flats, and buildings converted into flats.

HMOs are regulated under the Housing Act 2004. This makes sure that landlords and managing agents ensure the HMOs are safe and well managed.

Please see the HMO standards booklet for more information and the standards required.

Licensing

New regulations from 1st October 2018

Properties occupied by five or more people in two or more households are now required to be licensed (irrespective of the number of floors).

If you own or manage a building occupied as a shared house, bedsits, owner occupier with four or more lodgers, or building with non self-contained flats and there are five occupiers it will, more than likely, need to be licensed. If you fail to do this you can be prosecuted and may receive a fine of up to £20,000.

Does my property need a licence?

Owners or managers of properties that are licensable must inform the local authority of their premises and obtain a licence.

Owners who do not licence may receive a fine of up to £30,000, may not be able to recover possession of their property from their tenants and may have to pay up to a years rent back to their tenants.

See the questions below to find out if your property needs a licence

  1. Is the property occupied by at least two unrelated individuals or families?
    • If No, The property is not classified as a House in Multiple Occupation and therefore will not need to be licensed
    • If Yes, Proceed to Question 2
  2. Is there, or will there be five or more occupants irrespective of age living in the property?
    • If No, The property may still be classified as a House in Multiple Occupation and therefore subject to management regulations and fire safety regulations but it will not need to be licensed
    • If Yes, Proceed to Question 3
  3. Is at least one facility including kitchen, bathroom or a living room in the premises shared or does the property contain a non self-contained flat, a flat which does not have all its facilities behind a front door or is accessed through other accommodation?
    • If No, If the property is a building converted into self-contained flats and it was converted before 1991 then it may still be classified as a House in Multiple Occupation and therefore subject to management regulations but it will not need to be licensed.
    • If Yes, Please email housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk or call us on 01622 602 740 as it looks like you will need a licence

Apply for a licence

The application fee is £525. For accredited landlords, you must include your accreditation number, it’s £505.

Alongside the main application form, we need several documents from you:

A full copy of the tenancy agreement, which you will enter into with your tenants, including details of any rent you will charge – this document must be included in your application.

An electrical installation condition report from the last five years

The gas safety certificate, if there is gas to the property and it has been checked in the last 12 months

A fire alarm test certificate, if the property has a fire alarm

An emergency lighting test certificate, if the property has emergency lights installed.

Apply for a multiple occupancy licence

Change a licence

If you are planning to alter the property or the management of the house, you must apply to vary your licence to keep it up-to-date.

You must tell us if you:

  • Change the number of people who can live in the property
  • Increase/decrease the number of bedrooms
  • Increase/decrease the number of facilities or amenities
  • Change the manager of the property
  • Change your management procedures or tenancy agreements

To change your.

If you need to update your own, or the manager’s contact details, or you sell the property, please email the change to housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk.

If more people are living in the house than you have told us there is a fine of up to £20,000 on summary conviction. You shouldn't consider your application successful until we have fully processed and granted your licence.

If your application fails and you want to appeal, then you need to write to us or email housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk.

Change a multiple occupancy licence

Licence Procedure

Find out what happens next and how long processing your application will usually take.

WeekSteps
Week 1 Step 1

HMO licence application received.
Week 2 Step 2

We'll check to see if the applicant has paid the correct fee, filled in the form and has enclosed required information. If not enough information is received we'll contact the applicant for the information. Procedure stops until more information is received.
Week 3 Step 3

We'll arrange and carry out an inspection of the premises.
Week 5 Step 4

Inspection of the premises carried out.
Week 7 Step 5

We'll write a list of works required to be carried out and send this to the applicant.
Week 8 Step 6

We'll examine the certificates and application form to decide whether the applicant is approved.
Week 8 Step 7

We'll determine whether the premises can be licensed and for how many persons, and send a licence proposal giving the applicant and manager 14 days to comment on the proposal.
Week 10 Step 8

If representations are received, we'll consider them and amend the licence or conditions, and then repeat step 7.*
Week 10 Step 9

If no representations are made the licence is not amended.
Week 10 Step 10

We'll produce the licence to include a certificate and conditions to be put up in the premises, and a copy for the applicant and manager’s records.

If the applicant makes representations to the Council concerning the licence conditions at Step 8, requiring that Step 7 and 8 have to be repeated, the agreement of the licence may take longer than 10 weeks.

Tacit Consent

Tacit Consent does not apply to HMO licence applications.  It is in the public interest that we must process your application completely before it can be granted. Please contact the Housing & Health Team housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk or call 01622 602740 if you do not hear back within a reasonable period of making your application.

Renew a licence

The renewal application fee is £485.

Alongside the main application form, we need several documents from you:

A sample tenancy agreement.

An electrical installation condition report from the last five years

The gas safety certificate, if there is gas to the property and it has been checked in the last 12 months

A fire alarm test certificate, if the property has a fire alarm

An emergency lighting test certificate, if the property has emergency lights installed.

Apply for a multiple occupancy licence

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