HMO licences will be granted for 1, 3, or 5 years. Where there are no concerns regarding the property, applicant or management controls, then a licence would normally be issued for 5 years.
Where there are relevant concerns, but it is not appropriate to refuse a licence, a licence will be issued for 1 or 3 years depending on the severity of the issued. The following is a list of matters that may be taken into consideration when determining the period for which a HMO licence is granted. This list is not exhaustive, and each case will be considered on its own merits.
1 year licence:
- Operating without voluntarily applying for a licence
- Existence of significant hazards at the property – such as those classified as Category 1 under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
- Serious failure to comply with the conditions of a previous or current licence – particularly those relating to tenant safety
- Serious failure to comply with HMO management regulations – particularly those relating to tenant safety
- Serious concerns raised by the police or other enforcement agency
- Serious con-compliance with building regulations – particularly those relating to tenant safety
- No provision of written tenancy or licence agreements
3 year licence:
- Failure to comply with the conditions of a previous or current licence
- Failure to comply with HMO regulations
- Failure to comply with planning requirements
- Council tax payment not up to date
- History of substantiated complaints in respect of the property
- Non-compliance with building regulations
- Previous failure to provide up-to-date certificates on time
- The existence of hazards at the property
- Concerns raised by the police or other enforcement agency
Upon determining the renewal of a licence, it is unlikely that it would be considered appropriate to progress direct from a 1 year to a 5 year licence term. However, if the circumstances are appropriate, and the criteria for a 1 year licence apply, a previous 5 year licence term may be reduced to a 1 year term upon renewal.