Private Sector Housing - Mandatory Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Introduction

Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 requires the council, as the local housing authority for Thanet, to operate a mandatory licensing regime for certain types of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The mandatory scheme, which came into force in April 2006, applies to HMOs which are comprised of three or more storeys and occupied by five or more persons. Mandatory licensing of HMOs was introduced to improve physical conditions and management standards in higher risk residential accommodation.

Section 63 of the Housing Act 2004 empowers the council to make charges for carrying out their HMO licensing functions. The council reviews these charges every year, and the charges which apply from 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 are set out below. A licence application will not be valid unless it is accompanied by the correct fee.

Please note:On 19 January 2016, the council’s Cabinet decided to make a further selective licensing designation in respect of certain parts of the electoral wards of Margate Central and Cliftonville West. Full details of the scheme, including why it has been introduced, can be found in the document: Proposal to make a further selective licensing designation, which is available on the council’s website.The new designation became operative on 21 April 2016 and will last for five years.Every residential property which is privately let to one or more tenants within the designated area must be licensed, unless it is subject to exemption. However, mandatory HMO licensing under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 takes precedence over selective licensing. HMOs within the designated area that are not subject to mandatory HMO licensing will be subject to selective licensing.

Standard Licence Applications

Standard Licence Application Fees

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) subject to mandatory licensing under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004

Accredited Landlords

Non-accredited Landlords

HMOs which contain 2 – 8 units of accommodation

£806

£886

Fee for each additional unit of accommodation (In addition to the fee for HMOs which contain 2 – 8 units of accommodation)

£40

£40

 

  • HMOs defined by section 257 of the Housing Act 2004, namely buildings converted entirely into self-contained flats which fulfill certain criteria relating to tenure and conversion standards, are excluded from the mandatory licensing regime.
  • For the purposes of mandatory HMO licensing, an accredited landlord is a landlord who is fully accredited with any of the following:
    • Kent Landlord Accreditation Scheme (KLAS), which is delivered through the UK Landlord Accreditation Partnership;
    • National Landlords Association Accreditation Scheme (NLA Accreditation);
    • Residential Landlords Association Accreditation Scheme (RLAAS). 

Early Renewal Licence Applications

Early renewal licence applications made at least six weeks before the expiry of an existing licence are subject to a reduced fee structure. However, renewal applications not made at least six weeks before the expiry of an existing licence are subject to the “Standard Licence Applications” fee structure set out above.

Early Renewal Licence Application Fees

(Only available to applicants who make a valid renewal licence application at least six weeks before their current licence is due to expire)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) subject to mandatory licensing under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004

Accredited Landlords

Non-accredited Landlords

HMOs which contain 2 – 8 units of accommodation

£600

£680

Fee for each additional unit of accommodation (In addition to the fee for HMOs which contain 2 – 8 units of accommodation)

£40

£40

Applications to vary a licence

If you want to change the terms of the licence after it has been issued, you will need to make an application to vary the licence. There is no charge for making an application to vary a licence.

Have you moved?

If you or your named manager change address after the licence has been issued, you must notify the council. This is a legal requirement – you will breach the terms of your licence if you don’t tell us. There is no licence fee charge for changes of address.

Non-transferability of licences

All licences are non-transferable (see section 68(6) of the Housing Act 2004). As such, no licence can be varied to change the licence holder. If the licence holder is to be changed, a wholly new licence application must be made and the appropriate licence fee paid.

Early revocation

If the council agrees to the early revocation of an HMO licence, no pro-rata rebate of the licence application fee is refundable. 

Help and advice

If you would like help with any aspect of the application process, the Private Sector Housing Team will be able to assist you. Please ring us on 01843 577437 and one of our officers will be happy to help. We can also be contacted by email on: housing.conditions@thanet.gov.uk.

Alternatively, you can write to us at:

Private Sector Housing
Community Services
Thanet District Council
PO Box 9
Cecil Street
Margate
Kent
CT9 1XZ