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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's)

Report an Unlicensed HMO

All HMOs with five or more people require a mandatory HMO licence (required England-wide under the Housing Act 2004).

If you believe, a property may be an HMO without a licence for can report it anonymously for us to investigate.

When we find unlicensed HMO’s

  • We can enter houses at any reasonable time to investigate offences without having to give notice and if necessary. However we are unable to access bedrooms without the consent of the occupier or the landlord. If we believe that their is enough significant evidence of an offence been committed .We can apply to the magistrates court for a warrant.
  • We are not able to investigate possible family overcrowding under HMO legislation. If you wish to make a complaint under this heading, the occupants must not be related
  • Tenants of unlicensed HMOs can claim up to a year’s rent back from their landlord and we provide tenants with information on how to do so. (Rent Repayment Order)
  • Section 21 Notices to Quit are not valid whilst an HMO remains unlicensed – we provide tenants with information on their rights to remain in the house and provide contact details for our Tenancy Relations Officer and Housing Needs / Homelessness team
  • We will contact the owner to inform them of the requirement to licence the house
  • We will decide if it is appropriate to begin an investigation and may take enforcement action. To find out more about enforcement click here.

We cannot take action when:

  • We determine the house is not an HMO. It is a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a licence. If we are to take enforcement action then we have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the property is an HMO. If we have repeated complaints about the same property then we may decide to use of powers of entry and request an inspection.
  • The house is not within city council’s boundary