Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

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Licensing of
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
in Bridgend County Borough Council

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR
HMO LICENSING APPLICATION FORM

 

To apply to licence an H.M.O. please go to the Housing Act 2004 HMO Application Form to print the form, or alternatively contact the Public Protection Department on (01656) 643260.

Bridgend County Borough Council is participating in a Wales wide Landlord Accreditation Scheme

Licensing of HMOs in Bridgend

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR HMO LICENSING APPLICATION FORM

Before lodging an application for a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), please ensure that you have read the following guidance notes. If you require any further advice regarding the Licensing Scheme or the relevant standards, please contact the Public Protection Department (01656) 643260.

In these notes, "the Act" means the Housing Act 2004, unless otherwise stated, all references to sections etc are to sections in the Act. Part 2 of the Act introduces a mandatory scheme to licence HMOs of 3 or more storeys occupied by 5 or more people.

Meaning of "HMO"

"HMO" means a house in multiple occupation as defined by sections 254 to 259, of the Act and it applies to a wide range of housing types and includes:

  •  A building or a part of a building, which consists of one or more units of living accommodation not consisting of a self-contained flat of flats;
  •  The living accommodation is occupied by persons who do not form a single household;
  •  Where two or more of the households who occupy the living accommodation share one or more basic amenities or the living accommodation is lacking in one or more basic amenities;
  •  Buildings converted into self-contained flats if more than one third of the flats are tenanted and the conversion does not comply with Building Regulations 1991 or subsequent Building Regulations.

Completing the Application Form

Please note that part 2 of the application form need only be completed if an agent or some other person is employed or asked to manage the property on behalf of the owner.

Page 1 - Enclosures

The application must be accompanied by:

  •  Landlord's Gas Safety Record (if there is a gas installation at the property).
  •  A Periodic Inspection Report for the Electrical Installation.
  •  The appropriate fee (currently £450 for a 5 year license).

The application will be incomplete without these enclosures.

You should also supply the following if you have them:

  •  Fire detection and alarm system periodic testing certificate or commissioning certificate.

Licence - holder details

Section 1

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is defined in the Act and includes houses occupied by unrelated people who share facilities. A HMO is covered by mandatory licensing if it is three stories or more, is occupied by five or more persons, and is occupied by persons living in 2 or more households. A household usually means related family members for the purposes of the Act. The applicant may or may not be the proposed licence holder but both must sign the application form.

The licence holder needs to be the person who can authorise, organise and pay for essential repairs. They also must be available to tenants in case of questions or problems that arise with respect to the property. They must also have the means to resolve them where reasonably practicable to standards required by the Acts.

The proposed licence holder will often be the landlord or it may be a manager to whom the rent is paid to and who has authority from the owner to effectively manage the property. Overall it is the person in control of the property. A proposed licence holder may need to appoint a managing agent in control of the property and hold the licence if they are not considered to be a fit and proper person. This licence holder should also have the authority to authorise and pay for works or repairs, as they will be liable for any breaches of the licence.

Where managing agents act for the landlord, a responsible person would again need to be nominated as a licence holder.

Organisations that are landlords must nominate an appropriate person to be the licence holder. This person will be responsible for ensuring that there are no breaches of the licence and therefore should hold a responsible position in the company (e.g. company secretary). Since a licence cannot be transferred to another person within a company, it is advisable that the nominated person has a permanent position. Alternatively if a manager is employed, that person could be the licence holder.

Section 1.2

Give the names and addresses of anyone with a legal interest in the property such as freeholders, leaseholders with lease over 3 years and mortgage provider. This information is required to ensure that the proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence.

Section 1.3

The following table provides a guide as to who is the most appropriate person to be the licence holder.

Landlord (owner)

Manager

Licence holder

Sole management responsibility.

None

Landlord

Receives rent, undertakes management and maintenance.

Deals with tenancy matters only.

Landlord

NB both need to be 'a fit and proper' person.

Receives rent from manager.

Deals with tenancy matters, general management, repairs and maintenance with ability to authorise works and make payments associated with the management of property.

Either

NB both need to be 'a fit and proper' if landlord is licence person holder, otherwise just manager.

As above, but resident abroad.

Deals with tenancy matters, general management, repairs and maintenance with ability to authorise works and make payments associated with the management of property.

Manager

Person Having Control

Section 1.7

If the person who is proposed to be licence holder at sections 1.4 or 1.5 is also the person having control then there is no need to complete this section.

If the proposed licence holder is not the person having control, please give details of the person having control at section 1.7.2. Please explain the reason why the proposed licence holder is not the person having control at section 1.7.1.

Does my managing agent have to be a "fit and proper person"?

If you employ an agent on a "let only" or "tenant find only" arrangement then we will not usually require details about whether they are fit and proper. Part 2 of the application ("The Manager") need not be completed.

However, where you are giving permission to an agent or other person to manage the property for you on a day to day basis then we will need to be satisfied that they are "fit and proper" and part 2 of the application must be completed.

If your agent or manager does any of the following then they must complete Part 2 of the application.

  •  Collects rent
  •  Is the main contact for repairs
  •  Arranges payment of bills
  •  Terminates and renews tenancies

Where day to day responsibility for managing the property has been handed over to another person then the Council must be satisfied that they are "fit and proper" and competent. Part 2 of the application must be completed.

The Manager

Section 2.6 Management Competence

The Council has to be satisfied that the proposed manager is competent. This will become particularly important where the appointed manager is also the licence holder as that manager will take responsibility for all licence conditions.

The Council will consider the answers to questions 2.6.1 to 2.6.7, which are aimed particularly at professional managing agents, in combination with any additional information provided at 2.6.8 and make a judgement about whether the proposed manager is competent and whether management structures and funding are satisfactory.

The manager may, at section 2.6.8, wish to give details of the level of experience or expertise that he or she may have acquired in the course of their business.

Fit and Proper Person

Section 3

The Council must be satisfied that the proposed licence holder and the manager named in Part 2 of the application are fit and proper persons. The proposed licence holder and manager should both complete this section and either indicate that none of the matters listed in the application form apply or detail the relevant matters. The proposed manager should list any relevant matters at section 3.2 and the manager at section 3.3.

Where the proposed licence holder or manager is a company, then offences or other matters attributable to the company and each of its directors should be listed in addition to those that may be attributable to the person who will hold the licence.

If details of an offence or other relevant matter are given, the relevant person must sign next to the entry.

Section 3.4 & Section 3.5 Other HMO's

The Council must by law ask for details of other HMO's where licences have been granted or refused.

Information about the Property

Section 4

Planning permission may or may not be required in relation to your HMO. If you are not sure whether permission or approval is required for the property for which you are seeking a licence, contact the Council's Planning Department. Where permission or approval has already been obtained, please enclose a copy with your application.

Section 4.4

Shared houses are defined as houses occupied by members of a defined group e.g. students or a group of young single adults. The occupiers each enjoy exclusive use of a bedroom but would share other facilities including a communal living space.

Section 4.5

Hostels, guesthouses and bed and breakfast hotels are defined as houses which provide accommodation for people with no other permanent place of residents as distinct from hotels which provide accommodation for temporary visitors to an area. This category would include establishments used by local authorities to house homeless families pending permanent placement and similar establishments which provide accommodation for people who would otherwise be homeless. It would also include bona fide hotels used for such purposes, even on a casual basis, and hotels housing a mixture of homeless households and visitors.

Section 4.6

A storey should be counted as residential accommodation if it is used wholly or partly as living accommodation, or it has been constructed, converted or adapted for use wholly or partly as living accommodation. When calculating the number of storeys business premises whether below or above residential accommodation should be counted, except where the business premises are located in the basement.

Section 4.15 Much of the information here is required by law and is self-explanatory.

Section 4.15 requires information about the number of households. Essentially, if persons are not members of the same family then they will not be members of the same household. For example, students who are not related will form separate households, irrespective of any common tenancy or the degree of communal living.

Persons are regarded as being part of the same family (and therefore part of the same household) if:

  •  They are married or living together as husband and wife, or an equivalent relationship in the case of persons of the same sex;
  •  They are relatives, which includes parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin.
  •  Foster children are regarded as members of the same household, as are domestic staff, personal assistants and carers.

Section 4.18 & Section 4.19 Arrangements for gas and electrical safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 the landlord must have an annual gas safety check on all gas appliances by a CORGI registered gas installer.

A regular and appropriate inspection of the electrical wiring installation is recommended to ensure to that the health and safety of your tenants is not compromised. The landlord is required to declare that electrical appliances provided by the landlord are safe. It is recommended that this should be done by a competent electrician. See appendix 1 for who is a competent electrician.

An electrical safety certificate will not be a requirement of licensing, however the management regulations of houses in multiple occupation states that the manager must ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at intervals not exceeding five years by a person qualified to undertake such inspection and testing, obtain a certificate from the person conducting that test, specifying the results of the test and supply the certificate to local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that authority.

Arrangements for fire safety

Every HMO must have adequate fire precautions including provisions for:

  •  Detection and giving warning in case of fire;
  •  Escape from the building;
  •  Fighting fire.

Section 4.20

If your house has been fitted with a mains interlinked smoke alarm system, single point smoke detectors or battery operated smoke detectors, the system should be checked and serviced at least once every year. Either by a specialist contractor or a competent electrician as detailed in appendix 1.

Section 4.26

All upholstered furniture provided with rented accommodation must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993. This means that all materials must have passed flammability tests. If your furniture complies it should have a label attached permanently with the lining giving details as appropriate.

Declarations

Section 5

You must let certain persons with a legal interest in the premises know that you have made an application. This part of the application lists the persons who must be informed and the information that you must pass on.

You must list here and give details of each of the persons you have informed about the application.

The applicant, the proposed licence holder and the proposed manager must each sign a declaration to show that the information contained in the application is, to the best of their knowledge, correct.

Appendix 1

When is an Electrician Competent?

Part 1

This is for the purposes of checking whether the Domestic Electrical Installation Periodic Inspection Reports, submitted for the purposes of Licensing, have been completed by a competent electrician.

The electrician will be classed as a competent person if:

They are a member of a recognised electrical institution, such as:

  •  NICEIC - The electrician will be called an Approved Contractor.
  •  ECA - The electrician will be called a Registered Member.
  •  NABIT - The electrician will be called an Approved Electrical Inspector.

Part 2

Under Approved Document P of the Building Regulations 2000, they are a member of a competent persons self-certification scheme, covering electrical installation work in dwellings, such as:

     
 

BRE Certification Limited

This scheme, operated with the support of the Electrical Contractors Association and the Institution of Electrical Engineers, is primarily designed for those whose main business is electrical contracting and those who wish to be able to self-certify all types of electrical work in dwellings.

 

British Standards Institution

This scheme, which will be known as the Kitemark Scheme for electrical installation work, is primarily designed for those whose main business is electrical contracting and those who wish to be able to self-certify all types of electrical work in dwellings.

 

ELECSA Limited

This scheme, operated with the support of the British Board of Agreement, is primarily designed for those whose main business is electrical contracting and those who wish to be able to self-certify all types of electrical work in dwellings.

 

NAPIT Certification Limited

This scheme is designed primarily for those whose main business is electrical contracting and will allow its members to self-certify all types of electrical installation work in dwellings.

 

NICEIC Certification Services Limited

This scheme, which is known as the Domestic Installer Scheme, is designed for those who wish to be able to self-certify all types of electrical work in dwellings, either as an electrical contractor or as part of an ancillary trade activity.

Part 3

They can produce a copy of their original qualifications and evidence of their experience, such as:

  •  City & Guilds 2360 Part 1 and 2 plus an NVQ level 3.

  •  City & Guilds 2360 Part 1 and 2 have been working in industry for the last 5 years.

  •  City & Guilds 2381. (This was set up as a "refresher" course to inform electricians who completed 2360 Part 1 and 2 some time ago, of the changes to BS 7671. Possession of this alone does not imply competence).

  •  City & Guilds 2351, combined with NVQ level 3 will imply competence. (This qualification is no longer on the teaching syllabus).

  •  City & Guilds 2330. This is a level 2 and 3 qualification. When combined with a NVQ level 3 will imply competence. (This qualification will replace City & Guilds 2360 and 2351 and the first candidates will not graduate until 2008).

  •  City & Guilds 2391 combined with 5 years practical experience will imply competence, with the inspection and testing process.

It should be noted that Regulation 16 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that a competent person should possess both technical knowledge and experience. It is the person who is at work who is responsible in law, and as such any possession of certificates only point towards possible/probable competence. Should anything go wrong in an electrical system it will not be the inspecting body that will be prosecuted (NICEIC/NAPIT etc) but rather the person and/or company working on the electrical system that will have to justify the decisions that they have made.

To apply to licence an H.M.O. please go to the Housing Act 2004 HMO Application Form to print the form, or alternatively contact the Public Protection Department on (01656) 643260

Last Updated: 21/02/2013
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