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What Happens if I Fail to Apply for a HMO Licence?

What Happens if I Fail to Apply for a HMO Licence?

 

Failure to obtain a HMO licence may result in HMO Licence Penalties & Sanctions.

 

Prosecution for Unlicensed HMOs

 

Failing to apply for a HMO Licence as and when required is an offence that is punishable upon summary conviction to a fine (unlimited). Alternative sanctions include issue of a Civil Penalty Notice (up to £30,000) or the offer of a Simple Caution.

A local authority or tenants may apply for an RRO (Rent Repayment Order) to reclaim rent (up to 12 months’) from the landlord. This includes former tenants who were living at the property while it was unlicensed. Applications for RROs are made to the FTT (First-Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber).

 

Licence Duration

 

When issued, a HMO licence’s duration may be shortened by the Council if there is reasonable evidence that a property should have been licensed already. The full fee will, however, be payable.

 

Exceeding the Maximum Permitted Number of Occupants/Households

 

Letting licensed HMOs to a number of occupants/households exceeding the maximum number/s as stated on relevant licences is an offence that is punishable upon summary conviction to a fine (unlimited). Civil Penalty Notices (up to £30,000) are alternative sanctions available to local authorities.

Non-Compliance with Licence Conditions

 

Failure to comply with one or more licence conditions is an offence that is punishable upon summary conviction to a fine (unlimited) per offence. Civil Penalty Notices (up to £30,000) are alternative sanctions available to local authorities.

 

Fit & Proper Person Status

 

Review of an individual’s “fit & proper person status” may be considered if the individual is sanctioned or prosecuted for an offence; if the individual is consistently in breach of licensing conditions; if there is evidence showing poor management, or for any other relevant factors (as deemed so by this Authority).

 

If the “fit & proper status” of an individual is removed, their involvement in the management of any licensed property will be prevented. In such a case, either satisfactory alternative management arrangements must be put into place or an IMO (Interim Management Order) can be made. An IMO will result in the property’s full management control being taken over by the local authority for up to a year (12 months).

 

This period can, if an FMO (Final Management Order) is made, be extended for 5 further years.

 

IMOs may also be made in cases where there are no realistic properties of licensable HMOs being licensed or where the welfare, health & safety conditions are met.

 

Appeals

 

Appeals against the Council’s formal decisions are made to the FTT (First-Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) or, if a prosecution was taken, the Magistrates Court.

 

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