All Documents Index

Main Topics

  • HMOS AND LICENSING

    A general introduction to legislation relating to HMOs and property licensing. This explains what is an HMO, the different types of licensing and which properties are licensable.

  • LICENSABLE HMOS

    This explains in more detail which properties are subject to different types of HMO licensing, how licensing works and also about temporary exemptions.

  • NON LICENSABLE HMOS

    Not all HMOs are licensable but non licensable HMOs are subject to the Management Regulations. In the event of overcrowding restrictions can be imposed and in certain situations management of a property can be taken over by the Local Authority.

  • HOUSING HEALTH AND SAFETY RATING SYSTEM (HHSRS)

    This deals with the physical conditions/standards in all types of residential accommodation (not just HMOs).

  • SINGLE PROPERTIES

    This deals with individual houses etc which are not HMOs.

  • FIRE SAFETY

    Fire Safety Legislation applies to all residential rented accommodation and this explains the different rules which operate according to the type of property involved. It has an interactive table to enable the relevant legislation to be identified as it affects the property.

  • SELECTIVE LICENSING

    This operates in certain designated areas where there is low housing demand and/or anti social behaviour. Where it applies all privately rented properties require a licence.

All Documents Relevant to the Housing Act on the RLA Website

  • INTRODUCTION / CHANGES IN LEGISLATION

    This summarises the changes made by the Housing Act 2004.

  • WHAT IS AN HMO?

    The definition of a house in multiple occupation is complex. Not all HMOs, however, require a licence. This Section gives detailed guidance as to the rules for determining which properties count as HMOs.

  • COMMON FEATURES OF AN HMO

    • HOUSEHOLD

      A property is only an HMO if it is not occupied by a single household. Here the definition of "household" is explained.

    • MAIN RESIDENCE

      It is a requirement for a property to be an HMO the property has to be the only/main residence of the occupants but this is also extended to certain other situations. These are explained here.

    • USE AS A RESIDENCE

      To be an HMO the only use of the property should be as a residence. However, the residential part of a mixed communal/residential property is still a HMO. HMO declarations can also be made by the local authority to override this requirement.

    • RENT AND OCCUPATION

      Rent generally has to be payable for a property to be an HMO.

    • HMO DECLARATIONS

      This can override the requirement that the resident accommodation can only be used as the occupant's only/main residence etc.

  • WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE?

    This explains how the landlord/his agent becomes responsible for seeing that the legislation is complied with in individual properties.

  • WHICH PROPERTIES ARE LICENSABLE?

    Not all HMOs are licensable. This Section gives information about those HMOs which are subject to licensing and also those cases where selective licensing applies for all rented properties.

  • DEFINITIONS

    The legislation uses certain technical expressions and in this section these are explained.

  • FLATS

    Flats are perhaps the most complex area when it comes to working out which properties are HMOs and which are not. In this section detailed guidance is given about how the legislation applies to blocks of flats.

  • EXEMPTIONS

    Various properties are exempt from being treated as HMOs at all. These are listed out in this section. However, the HOUSING HEALTH AND SAFETY RATING SYSTEM (HHSRS) still applies.

  • HMOS NOT REQUIRED TO BE LICENSED

    Here the law is summarised in relation to those HMOs which do not require an HMO licence.

  • MANDATORY HMO LICENSING

    Properties with five or more occupants are subject normally to HMO licensing. This section explains the detailed rules.

  • ADDITIONAL HMO LICENSING

    Local authorities can impose additional HMO licensing on those HMOs not subject to Mandatory Licensing where there are problems associated with poor management.

  • DEEMED ADDITIONAL HMO/TRANSITIONAL LICENSING

    This applies in those areas which were subject to old style HMO registration schemes under the old legislation.

  • WHAT SELECTIVE LICENSING IS ABOUT

    Selective licensing applies in designated areas where there is low demand and/or anti social behaviour. This section explains how selective licensing operates.

  • WHAT HAPPENS IF A PROPERTY IS NOT LICENSED WHEN IT SHOULD BE?

  • LICENSING PROCEDURE

    In this section the procedure for applying for a licence (whether an HMO licence or a selective licence) is explained.

  • LICENCE APPLICATION

    What has to be done to apply for a licence and the information required.

  • LICENSING CRITERIA

    Here an explanation of what criteria have to be met so that a licence can be granted.

  • LICENCES

    This explains the general rules regarding licences once granted.

  • MINIMUM NATIONAL AMENITY STANDARDS FOR LICENSABLE HMOS

    There are nationally laid down minimum standards which apply to HMOs requiring a licence. Local authorities can impose their own higher requirements.

  • LICENCE CONDITIONS

    Property licences will be granted subject to various conditions and these are explained here.

  • VARIATION/REVOCATION OF LICENCES

    Once granted a licence can be varied or revoked. This section sets out the circumstances in which this can be done.

  • TRANSFERS/SALES OF LICENSED PROPERTIES

    Licences are non transferable and here we deal with the situation where there is a transfer or sale of the licensed property.

  • TEMPORARY EXEMPTIONS

    Temporary Exemption Notices provide temporary exemption for properties which would otherwise be subject to HMO licensing or selective licensing. The circumstances in which such a temporary exemption can be granted are detailed here.

  • MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS

    These are detailed regulations setting out how an HMO must be managed. They apply whether or not the HMO is licensable.

  • OVERCROWDING NOTICES (NON LICENSABLE HMOS)

    Even though an HMO does not require a licence if it is overcrowded the local authority can serve notice limiting the number of occupants.

  • HOUSING HEALTH & SAFETY RATING SYSTEM - HHSRS

    This lays down standards relating to condition in all residential accommodation (including HMOs).

  • FIRE SAFETY

    This provides the unique interactive facility to enable you to work out which fire safety legislation applies to a particular property.

  • GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF FIRE SAFETY

    This gives guidance on how, in practice, you can comply with the various requirements for fire safety depending on which particular legislation applies.

  • BUILDING REGULATIONS AND FIRE SAFETY

    This gives an explanation of how building regulations deal with fire safety when building work is carried out.

  • HOUSING HEALTH AND SAFETY RATING SYSTEM (HHSRS) AND FIRE SAFETY

    There are standards to be observed in relation to fire safety for all rented accommodation (not just HMOs)

  • FIRE SAFETY ORDER

    The Fire Safety Order applies to all non domestic premises which includes the common parts of flats and HMOs. This section explains what are the requirements of the Fire Safety Order including risk assessments.

  • FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS

    This gives general guidance about how to carry out a fire safety risk assessment.

  • HMO MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS AND FIRE SAFETY

    HMO Management Regulations which apply to all HMOs lay down regulations to ensure that fire precautions are properly maintained.

  • HMO LICENCE CONDITIONS AND FIRE SAFETY

    Where an HMO licence applies then licence conditions can, in certain circumstances, be imposed in relation to fire safety.

  • HMOS AND PLANNING

    The definition of an HMO for planning purposes is now different to that for housing/environmental health purposes. Here the rules relating to planning and HMOs are explained.

  • HMOS AND COUNCIL TAX

    Likewise, there is a different definition of an HMO for Council Tax purposes. This affects both banding and the liability to pay Council Tax. This section explains the rules in respect of Council Tax.

  • REGISTER OF HMOS, TEMPORARY EXEMPTIONS AND MANAGEMENT ORDERS

    There is now a requirement for a public register of HMOs and other related information.

  • APPEALS AND THE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TRIBUNAL

    Appeals in respect of HMOs, HHSRS and licensing go to the Residential Property Tribunal. This explains what the Tribunal can do.

  • MANAGEMENT ORDERS

    If a property is not licensed when it should be and in certain other circumstances a management order can be made by the local authority which enables it effectively to take over the running of the property.

  • CODES OF PRACTICE

    The intention in due course is that there should be a Code of Practice for all HMOs. Currently there are only codes of practice relating to certain educational institutions.

  • HMO PROBLEMS

    In this section we identify and discuss situations where the law is not clear. Different possible interpretations are explained.

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