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A HMO licence is a mandatory requirement when all three of the following items apply to the property:
Operating an unlicensed HMO is a criminal offence that carries a fine of up to £20,000.
In order to grant a licence we must be satisfied that:
A duty is imposed on the landlord to ensure the property has a good standard of repair, order and cleanliness in a property. Further details can be seen in the HMO management section.
A licence will not be granted until the applicant is proved to be 'fit and proper' as defined by the Housing Act 2004.
We have provided a booklet entitled Licensing of HMO's in England which will provide landlords with HMO licensing details.
All landlords have responsibility for ensuring their property is safe and free from unnecessary hazards at all times. Landlords must therefore:
The local authority has to carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risk assessment on every HMO within five years of receiving a licence application. If works are required following a housing safety inspection landlords must carry out any works required.
The Housing Health and Safety Ratings System booklet provides a short guide to understanding how hazards are assessed in a property.
You can apply electronically for a HMO licence. Online payment will be requested by electronic notification. Supporting documentation should be uploaded along with completed application form (details of the required documentation are provided in the guidance notes).
If you know a property that is not licensed, please contact St Helens Council as soon as possible
We will process applications that have been confirmed as complete and issue notice of its intention to grant a HMO licence or otherwise within 15 working days of receipt. A HMO licence will usually then be issued within 15 working days, where no objections are made. Where supporting documentation or other matters are identified as outstanding, this will delay issue of the licence
Tacit consent will not apply. It is in the public interest that we process all HMO licence applications before a license can be granted. Having made an application, if you have not heard from us within a reasonable time please contact us.
If you do not agree with our the decision to grant, vary or revoke a licence, or regarding conditions attached to a licence, you may appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal Service (RPTS). Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
The premises will be licensed for a 5-year period and the scale of charges with effect from 6th April 2016 will be as follows: Standard Fee £975
This amount comprises the total of £195 per annum and includes a £50 reduction for valid renewal applications received 21 days before the licence expiry date
For existing landlords who are currently midway through their 5 year license period the charges remain as an annual payment of £50 per year (years 2-5)
*Please be aware, from the 6th year the fee will be as stated above i.e. £975
If you own a property that requires a HMO licence and have not sent in an application form or you remain unsure about whether your property qualifies, you must contact us as soon as possible and we will discuss the licensing requirements with you.
Landlords who fail to apply for a licence will be at risk of:
Some HMOs will need to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (often referred to as the RRO or the Fire Safety Order). These will typically be houses let as bedsits, hostels and blocks of flats. Communities and Local Government has the sleeping guide which relates to HMOs.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force on 1st October 2006. This legislation requires a competent and responsible person, who has a degree of control over the building, to carry out a satisfactory fire risk assessment; and implement and maintain adequate standards of fire safety in the building. The Councils link to the New Fire Safety guidance sheet provides further information for Landlords.
If you wish to forward a complaint regarding your property you can,
Telephone: 01744 676789
Write: People Services, Private Housing Initiatives, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP