What criteria must an HMO meet for it to be licensed?
Anyone who owns or manages an HMO that must be licensed has to apply to the Council for a licence.
The Council must give a licence if it is satisfied that:
- the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence
- the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person
- the proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the proposed manager, if there is one, is a ‘fit and proper person’
- the proposed management arrangements are satisfactory
- the person involved in the management of the HMO is competent
- the financial structures for the management are suitable
What is meant by ‘reasonably suitable for occupation'?
For an HMO to be reasonable suitable for occupation for a certain number of people, it must adhere to the following standards (these are outlined in the recently drafted Government guidelines):
- number, type and quality of bathrooms, toilets, washbasins and showers
- number, type and quality of food storage, preparation and cooking facilities
- suitable fire precautions
What does a ‘fit and proper person’ mean?
The Council will carry out checks to make sure that the person applying for the licence is a fit and proper person. In deciding whether someone is fit and proper the Council must take into account:
- any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud
- whether the proposed licence holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
- whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination
- whether the person has previously managed HMOs that have broken any approved code of practice