Lewes District Council
Houses in Multiple Occupation are licensed to ensure sufficient facilities are available for the occupants.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The purpose of the licensing regime is to ensure HMOs are suitably equipped with amenities and facilities for the number of occupants residing in them, and are effectively managed by ‘fit and proper persons’.
Licensing also ensures that Local Authorities have the information required to identify and target HMOs that pose the greatest risk under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This will help to reduce death and injury from fire and other health and safety hazards.
As a Local Authority, we are required to license larger, higher risk HMOs. Those which are three storeys and above that are occupied by at least five people who constitute more than one household. Anyone who owns or manages such a property should apply for a licence.
A household refers to :
A licensable House in Multiple Occupation is a building (or part of a building, such as a flat), that:
It is a criminal offence for landlords to operate a licensable HMO without applying for a licence. The fine applicable for this offence is up to £20,000.
Rent repayment orders may also be made. Landlords will be operating legally once they have made an application even if we have not granted the licence, unless we ultimately decide to refuse a licence.
To apply for this licence, please contact the department direct to discuss your application. We will advise you of what is required and send you the appropriate forms either by post or email.
Tel: 01273 484354
Lewes District Council
Please contact the housing team for advice on fee calculation in order to ascertain the correct fee level.
We will ascertain whether the proposed licence holder is a ‘fit and proper’ person and if the HMO is suitable or can be made suitable for occupation by the proposed number of occupants. We do not have to inspect the property before licensing it, but may choose to do so.
We will inspect the property during the lifetime of the licence however. A licence is normally issued for 5 years but we may decide to issue it for a shorter period if that is more appropriate.
You have the right of appeal.
Residential Property Tribunal,
Southern Rent Assessment Panel & Leasehold Valuation Tribunal,
1st Floor, 1 Market Avenue,
Tel: 0845 1002617 or 01243 779394.
For further advice or information is available from our the Housing Team.