Applying for a licence

Anyone who owns or manages a licensable HMO, or a privately rented property in an area subject to selective licensing, has to apply to the local authority for a licence.

The local authority must give a licence if it is satisfied that the:

Anyone who owns or manages a licensable HMO, or a privately rented property in an area subject to selective licensing, has to apply to the local authority for a licence.

The local authority must give a licence if it is satisfied that the:

  • the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person or that the proposed manager, if there is one, is fit and proper
  • the proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed management arrangements are satisfactory, the person involved in the management of the HMO is competent
  • In the case of HMO licensing, the HMO must be reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence, or capable of being made suitable. This will require the local authority to look at the amenities that are available and the number of people who are sharing those amenities. There are national minimum amenity standards but local authorities can apply their own higher standards if they wish.

An HMO licence application must list the maximum number of people that the landlord wishes to house in the property. The licence may be granted for that number of people or for a different number, depending on how many the property is suitable for.

Selective licences do not have to specify the number of occupants allowed to live in the property.