HMO licence refusal

We will refuse to grant a House in Multiple Occupation licence for a property, which does not meet the required conditions.

Read about houses in multiple occupation for more information.

Where a landlord is unable to find a licence holder, we will apply for an interim management order

Interim Management Order (IMO)

An IMO allows us to manage the property. The owner keeps their rights as an owner. We will serve an IMO when:

  • A landlord fails to bring an HMO up to required standard, or
  • Fails to meet the fit and proper person criteria.

The IMO last for a year, or; until suitable management arrangements are in place. If the IMO expires and there has been no improvement, we can issue a Final Management Order (FMO). This can last up to five years at a time.

The landlord may appeal if we decide to:

  • Refuse a licence,
  • Grant a licence with conditions,
  • Revoke a licence,
  • Vary a licence,
  • Refuse to vary a licence.

The landlord must appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT), within twenty-eight days.

To find out more read solve a residential property dispute on GOV.UK.

Temporary exemption from licensing

When an owner or manager of a property intends to either:

  • Stop operating it as an HMO, or;
  • Reduces the numbers of occupants below five people.

they can then apply for Temporary Exemption Notice.

Temporary Exemption Notice lasts for up to three months and ensures that a property no longer requires a licence. In certain circumstances, a second Temporary Notice might be necessary. When this runs out the property must be:

  • Licensed,
  • Be subject to an IMO, or;
  • No longer operating as an HMO.

HMO licence penalties

It is an offence if the landlord or person in control of the property:

  • Fails to apply for a HMO licence for a licensable property; or
  • Lets the property to more people than permitted under the licence.

Offences can result in an unlimited fine.

Rent Repayment Orders (RRO)

A tenant living in an unlicensed licensable HMO can claim back up to twelve months rent. To claim back any rent a tenant must apply for a First Tier Tribunal.

See solve a residential property dispute on GOV.UK for an overview of First Tier Tribunal.

Housing benefit payments

We can reclaim any housing benefit payments from the landlord, through a rent repayment order.

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.