Additional Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Consultation

The proposed 2019 to 2024 scheme - this consultation is open

Consultation begins on: 3 May 2019

Consultation closes on: 14 July 2019 at 5pm

What is this consultation about?

We are proposing the implementation of an enhanced designation area for Additional HMO Licensing using our powers under section 56 of the Housing Act 2004. This is a 10 week consultation inviting anyone with an interest in HMOs to share their views with us about the new scheme by completing our consultation survey.   

The designation applies to:

  • all HMOs (irrespective of the number of storeys) containing three or more occupiers that form two or more households
  • all self-contained flats that are HMOs (irrespective of the number of storeys) but in the case of section 257 HMOs, the designation is limited to those that are mainly or wholly tenanted, including those with resident landlords

The designation does not apply to:

  • HMOs that are subject to mandatory licensing under section 55(2) of the Housing Act 2004
  • HMOs that are subject to any statutory exemptions

Our existing Additional HMO Licensing Scheme expires on 2 November 2019. The new designation, if approved, would come into effect on 3 November 2019. It will operate for five years and expire on 2 November 2024.

Our Cabinet will consider a report on the proposed scheme, including the results of the consultation, at its meeting on 24 July 2019.

What do we hope to achieve with this consultation?

Under the new scheme we would be able to make landlords more accountable for not only the standards and conditions within the HMOs they let, but also for their tenants’ antisocial behaviour. It will also create a level business playing field for our responsible landlords. It will also help to protect the safety of tenants and wellbeing of local residents across a wider area of the borough.

The areas and specific streets covered by the proposed new scheme (and subject to Additional Licensing) are shown on the map and street index in the consultation report.

Effect of the enhanced designation area

Once a designation is in place, a person having control of, or managing, a licensable HMO must apply to us for an HMO licence.

Failure to apply for a licence is an offence under Section 72(1) of the Housing Act 2004 and, on conviction, is punishable by an unlimited fine set by the courts. Alternatively, we may decide to use our powers under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and impose a civil penalty of up to £30,000.

Under the provisions of Sections 73 and 74 of the Housing Act 2004, if a person having control of, or managing, a licensable HMO is convicted (or liable for a civil penalty) for failing to license a licensable HMO, they may be required to repay up to 12 months’ rent if the tenant applies to the First Tier Tribunal for a rent repayment order or, in the case of Housing Benefit payments, if we apply.

See the consultation report

See the report online

Alternatively a paper version of the report can be viewed in the One Stop Shop at the Guildhall during normal office hours.

What happens to any personal data submitted to us? 

Within the consultation survey you will be asked to provide some personal contact details. We require this information in order to notify you of the outcome of the proposal. The data you provide will not be shared and will only be used as part of this consultation's background data. All personal data within the Cabinet report will be anonymised. 

If you wish to be informed about future HMO consultations or reviews of the licensing scheme then, with your permission, we can save the personal data you submit to us. The data will be held until the end of the next statutory review of the scheme in 5 years' time and then securely deleted, unless you advise us otherwise. For more information please see our privacy notice.

Respond to the consultation

Online

Complete the survey online

Paper copy

Alternatively, paper survey forms are available to collect from the One Stop Shop during office hours.

More information

If you need assistance regarding the designation or information about applying for a licence, please visit our HMO web pages or email [email protected]

Alternatively you can contact Private Sector Housing by telephone on 01604 838585 or in writing to:

Private Sector Housing
Housing and Wellbeing
Northampton Borough Council
The Guildhall
St. Giles Square
Northampton
NN1 1DE