A privately let property of three or more storey's with five or more persons who form two or more households is a HMO which requires a mandatory licence. The licence is issued by Telford & Wrekin Council and you can submit an application form online. From 1 October 2018, all HMO's with 5 or more persons will require a licence, irrespective of the property size and type.
Once issued, the licence is usually valid for five years unless there is a change of ownership, management or licence conditions. The licence may be issued for a shorter period of time; however the full licence fee will still be payable. The licences are non-transferrable between licence holders.
A licence application will be processed on the receipt of a fully completed application form, all supporting documentation and fee.
The property will be inspected prior to the licence being issued to ensure the necessary fire precautions and management arrangements are in place. The property remains subject to inspections during the lifetime of the licence to check management arrangements, occupancy and to ensure that it remains free from disrepair.
It is an offence to operate a property which requires a mandatory licence and carries an unlimited fine if found guilty of such offence. The Local Authority also have powers to issue a fixed penalty fee of up to £30,000 for the offence instead of a court prosecution.
Fees and charges
On 15 February 2018, a Mandatory HMO Licensing Report was approved by Cabinet to approve a change in the fee’s and the mandatory licence conditions.
Licence application fee’s have not been changed in Telford and Wrekin since their first introduction in April 2006. Licence application fee’s reflect the cost involved for officer time to administer the “average” HMO application, which includes property visits, dealing with general requests for information and advice during the lifetime of a licence.
From 1 March 2018, the HMO Licensing fee’s will be:
- a HMO with up to 5 bedrooms - £723
- a HMO with 6 - 10 bedrooms - £745
- a HMO with 11 or more bedrooms - £783.
Please note: the fee structure relates to the number of bedrooms within the HMO, but licensing will only be applicable for properties with 5 or more persons in occupation.
If you apply for a licence for a specific number of occupier's, but the property is not considered suitable for the number of persons applied for, you will not receive a refund for the difference in permitted tenant numbers.
For 7 or more occupants, you will also require Full Planning Permission for a Change of Use. Please contact Telford & Wrekin Council's Planning Control team directly in this regard, wither by email at email@example.com or by calling 01952 380380.
Application for variation of a licence
If circumstances regarding the HMO change during the licence period, for example an increase/decrease in the number of letting units you must notify the Local Authority directly so that the licence can be reviewed and varied if the property is considered suitable to accommodate the variation request.
Please contact Environmental Health as soon as possible regarding a licence variation. Under no circumstances should you allow the property to be occupied by more people than the current licence permits as you will be in breach of your licence conditions.
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest that the Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Council within 28 days, please contact us for an update. You cannot assume that because you have not heard from us you will automatically have been granted the licence.
Please note: the target completion period for processing applications is six weeks from receipt of a valid application pack and inspection of the property, however each application is treated on a case by case basis and it could take longer to process an application, especially if information is missing/incomplete.
If your application for a mandatory licence is refused, you can contact Environmental Health directly in the first instance to discuss this.
You can also appeal this decision within 28 days to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property).
If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against this decision, you can also appeal against this decision to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property) within 28 days of the decision being made.
A full refund will be given if:
- you have made a duplicate application
- you made an application for an exempted property by mistake
- you made an application for a property which is not licensable under the HMO licensing scheme.
A refund will not be given if:
- you withdraw your application at any stage
- we refuse your application
- we revoke (take away) your licence
- you are subsequently refused planning permission for your HMO
- your property ceases to be let as an HMO during the term of the licence
- you sell your interest in the property and cease to be most relevant person to hold the licence.
Public Protection is responsible for maintaining a Public Register of licensed HMO's.
Last updated: 9.10am on Friday 26 April 2019