It is an offence for the landlord or person in control of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) to fail to apply for a license for a licensable property.

What happens if I fail to license my HMO? 

A landlord, or person acting on his/her behalf, operating an unlicensed HMO faces an unlimited fine and a criminal record if prosecuted via the Court. We may alternatively apply a Financial Penalty Notice of up to £30,000 per offence.

We may also apply to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a Rent Repayment Order to recover any housing benefit that has been paid in respect of the property for the previous year.

Your tenants are also entitled to seek a Rent Repayment Order covering their previous years rent payments.

Can you refuse to grant a license?

If you apply for a license and we consider that you are not a fit and proper person to grant a license to, we may decide not to grant one.

We will normally only refuse to grant a license if we think that there are serious difficulties surrounding the HMO, its management, or the fitness of the applicant to be involved in its management.

We will try to resolve any difficulties amicably before refusing your licence and we will set out the reasons for our refusal. If we don't grant a license we will consult with you and other relevant persons beforehand and take your views into account.

If you are unhappy with the decision you have a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

We are under a duty, when a licence cannot be granted, to consider making an interim management order to take over the management of the property.