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Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

Guidance, information and documents to apply for a HMO licence.

Published on: 30 December 2020

Last updated: 17 May 2021

Exemptions, evaluating applications, and appeals

You can verify if you are exempt from HMO licences by using the following resources:

Public body exemptions 

Housing Act 2004 (Schedule 14)

Information on student accommodation exemptions

Temporary exemptions from licensing (TEN)

Under certain circumstances it is possible to apply for a temporary exemption from licencing for a period of three months. This is to allow landlords who have unexpectedly found that their property needs a licence a short period of exemption to put the situation right.

The council will consider a TEN request where:

  • the applicant outlines particular steps with a view to securing that that property is no longer required to be licensed. Evidence will be required in most instances such as a house purchase contract with vacant possession.
  • there is a reasonable prospect of the proposed course of action being achieved within three months.
  • there is no threat to the existing tenants in the building or risk that they will be treated unfairly or made homeless.
  • the TEN is not be used as an alternative to licencing, for example where a HMO is being created for a short term period.
  • the TEN is not being used to avoid enforcement proceedings or civil proceedings against the landlord. 

Process of evaluating licence applications

Licences will be granted if:

  • the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • any proposed manager, having control of the house, is a fit and proper person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory

Appealing a HMO licence

There is a consultation period before the licence is issued where interested persons can make representations about the application.

If your application is not successful, please contact our team first.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.