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What is an HMO licence?

A licence gives the Licence holder permission to operate the HMO for which the licence is held so long as certain conditions are met.

The licence cannot relate to more than one property nor can it be transferred to another person.

The licence will state when it comes in to force and when it ends.

A licence will specify the maximum number of occupants who may occupy the HMO.

The licence will impose conditions on the licence holder. Some of the conditions will be mandatory and others will be determined by the local authority. Those conditions set by the local authority are called discretionary conditions as the local authority has the discretion to set them.

Mandatory conditions are those that are required by the Housing Act 2004 and the local authority must impose them in all cases.

Mandatory conditions will include:

  • Licence holders to provide the LHA with a gas certificate every year
  • To keep electrical appliances and furniture in a safe condition and supply the LHA on demand a declaration about their safety
  • To install and maintain smoke alarms in working order and supply the LHA on demand with a declaration as to its safety
  • Provide occupiers with a written statement of the terms of their occupation
  • Discretionary conditions, set by the LHA, will either be a condition that applies to all licensed HMOs across the area or it may be a specific condition applying to a individual HMO because of a particular set of circumstances in that property

Conditions that may be set by the LHA could include:

  • Restrictions on the use or occupation of parts of the property
  • Requirement for all licence holders to attend training on the management of HMOs
  • Requirement that all licence holders supply a certificate confirming the safety of the existing power and lighting system
  • How long the licence will last

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