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Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is any property occupied by three or more people comprising two or more households who share facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Since the 1 October 2018 all HMO’s with five or more occupiers forming two or more households regardless of the number of storeys are subject to HMO licensing.  

This means that an HMO licence will be required for

  • All houses with five or more occupiers forming two or more households
  • A flat within a converted building where the flat has five or more occupiers forming two or more households, and
  • A flat within a purpose built block containing either one or two flats, where the flat has five or more occupiers forming two or more households

As part of the extension to mandatory HMO licensing a minimum room size for bedrooms has been introduced.  A room for one adult must be at least 6.51m2 and a room for two adults must be no smaller than 10.22m2.

For more information please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

HMO Register

The register of licensable HMO’s is available on request from the Private Sector Housing Team

Telephone01892 554241
Emailhousingrenewal@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

To apply for an HMO Licence, please complete and return our application form.

Alongside the main application form, we need several documents from you:

  • A full copy of the tenancy agreement
  • A copy of the current electrical installation condition report
  • The gas safety certificate, if there is gas to the property
  • An inspection and test certificate for the fire alarm
  • The inspection and test certificate for the emergency lighting (if present)

Application Fees

There is a fee payable for the application, which is reduced if you belong to the Private Accredited Letting Scheme (PAL).

Number of occupiers New RenewalUnlicensed
5 £575 £460£720
6 or more £675 £560£820
5 PAL£515£400N/A
6 or more£615£500N/A

An unlicensed property is one where the owner has failed to apply for a licence and the property has been used as an HMO for more than 28 days.

To renew your licence please complete the application form. If there have been no changes to the premises or licence details, you my complete the Re-Licencing Declaration form instead.

Alongside the main application form, we need several documents from you:

  • A full copy of the tenancy agreement
  • A copy of the full electrical certificate
  • The gas safety certificate, if there is gas to the property
  • A fire alarm certificate
  • An emergency lighting certificate, if the property requires one

Failure to obtain a licence for a licensable HMO could result in prosecution and an unlimited fine.

Interim and Final Management Orders

Interim and final management orders are used with regard to Houses in Multiple Occupation that must be licensed.

The Council has to serve a 12-month Interim Management Order (IMO) when a licence cannot be issued because the property does not meet the right criteria.  The service of an IMO means that the authority will take on all responsibility for the HMO.  This includes steps which the authority thinks appropriate with a view to the proper management of the property, collecting rents and carrying out any repairs that are required.  The landlord would retain ownership but will be unable to step in and deal with any management issues.

If a Final Management Order (FMO) is necessary, this would be in place for up to five years.

Further information is available from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website.

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