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Guidance

Guidance for completing the HMO application form

Note: there are a number of exemptions from mandatory licensing. Please see Exemptions for more information.

Part 1: Applicant

If you are the person filling in this application form, then you are the ‘applicant’. As the applicant you are required to complete every part of the application form and sign the declaration at the end of the form, confirming that the information you have provided is correct to the best of your knowledge. If you propose to be the Licensee, you can go straight to Part 2.

The ‘proposed licence holder’ is the person whose name will be on the licence (if issued). The proposed licence holder must be the person who is the most appropriate person to hold the licence for the property, and this is likely to be the person who receives the rent for the property.

You are required to provide your:

  • Name
  • Correspondence address
  • Contact details
  • State your relationship to the proposed licence holder and you interest in the licensable property.

Your interest in the licensable property is your connection or involvement with the licensable property, which is usually of a legal nature such as:

  • Freeholder
  • Leaseholder
  • Managing Agent

We understand that in some instances, the applicant may have no legal interest in the property, and may simply be completing the form on behalf of a relative or friend for example. If this is the case under the question ‘what is your relationship to the proposed licence holder’, please circle the appropriate relationship.

Part 2: Proposed Licence Holder

You must provide the proposed licence holders details as follows:

  • Type of proposed licence holder
  • Name
  • Correspondence address
  • Contact details

If the proposed licence holder is a company, you must provide the address of the registered office and the names of the company secretary and directors.

If the proposed licence holder is a partnership or trust, you must provide the names of all the partners and trustees.

Part 3: Manager

If the property is managed by the landlord, or someone else manages it for them in an unpaid capacity, please tick the ‘No’ box to the first question in Part 3 and complete the details of the person responsible for management and include the following details:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact details

If the landlord pays an agent to manage the property on their behalf, please tick the ‘Yes’ box to the first question in Part 3 and then complete the necessary details. Indicate whether the manager is an individual or a Company or any other body and provide manager details as follows:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact details

If a commercial agent is employed to manage the property, please indicate if they are a member of a trade body which regulates its members through a Code of Management Practice. The main regulatory bodies are the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA); the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA); the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA); and the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS).

Part 4: Ownership detail of the house to be Licensed

A ‘freeholder’ can be a person (or persons) or a company who is registered as the proprietor of a freehold estate in the land with title absolute.

A ‘leaseholder’ is somebody who owns a long lease on their property (usually for a term of more than 21 years), which gives them the right to occupation and use of the property for the term of the lease.

A ‘person who collects the rent’ is considered to be anyone who collects rents from the persons who are occupying the property.

A ‘person who receives the rent’ is the person who ultimately receives (whether directly or through an agent or trustee) rents or other payments from the persons who are occupying the property.

A ‘person bound by a condition of the licence’ could be any person who is involved in the management and/or maintenance of the property. This will also depend on the licence conditions – see the general notes to the application form for a list of mandatory licence conditions.

Part 5: Fit and Proper Person

Part 5 aims to collect information on all persons named in Parts 1 to 4 of the form, to enable the council to determine if they (or any associate of those persons) are fit and proper persons (see general notes for definition).

Answering yes to any of the questions in this Part will not necessarily mean that the council will refuse to issue a licence. However, the council reserves the right to reject any person nominated as the proposed licence holder if they are not considered a fit and proper person. Under such circumstances, somebody who is deemed to be a fit and proper person will have to be nominated to hold the HMO licence.

Landlords Association refers to a legally constituted trade body which regulates the conduct of its members and represents their interests. Other relevant professional or bodies include the Housing Ombudsman Service, and those covering real estate such as property letting or surveying. Industry bodies covering building and construction trades could also be relevant if they evidence skills relating to the management and maintenance of tenants’ homes.

Accreditation is the voluntary compliance by private landlords with good standards in the condition and management of their properties and their relationship with their tenants. Accreditation schemes are run at a local level by local Councils, Higher Educational Institutions and their agents and Landlord Associations.

Part 6: Property Details

A ‘shared house’ is a self-contained premises, occupied by a group of unrelated people who have their own bedrooms (normally without lockable doors) and a shared kitchen, bathroom/WC and perhaps a living room. They occupy the property together. It could be a ‘student house’, or a group of young working people sharing the property.

A ‘shared flat’ is a separate and self-contained premises constructed or adapted for use for residential purposes and forming part of a building. The accomodation is occupied by a group of unrelated people who have their own bedrooms (normally without lockable doors) and a shared kitchen, bathroom/WC and perhaps a living room. They occupy the property together. It could be a ‘student house’, or a group of young working people sharing the property.

Both ‘self contained flats’ and ‘studios’ are separate and self-contained premises. All facilities are available behind the front door of the living accommodation.

In ‘bedsits’ and ‘non-self-contained flats’, rooms are occupied by unrelated people who live independently. There is often no shared living space, and lets are lockable. There is sharing of some or all bathroom/toilet and/or cooking facilities, though some may be self-contained within lets. In this type of accommodation, each occupancy would be separately rented.

A ‘self-contained single household’ unit is accommodation that is self-contained and occupied by one household only.

Part 7: Amenities

You must complete the grid, detailing the number and location of each amenity within the property and individual letting.

Within the ‘how many’ box, please indicate the number of facilities within the property that come under this section. Within the ‘location’ box, please indicate where within the property the amenity of that type is situated, for example ground floor front left room or first floor rear room etc.

Cooking facilities in rooms: These are facilities that are provided for the storage, preparation and cooking of food within an individual letting. For example within a bedsit.

When providing the number of rooms that have cooking facilities within them, only provide the number of rooms that have the following facilities. If the facilities within the room do not include all of the listed items below then it should not be counted.

Facilities:

  • A fixed sink with drainer provided with an adequate and wholesome supply of cold water and constant supply of hot water.
  • A cooker with a minimum of two burners/hobs with an over and a grill.
  • A minimum of two double electrical sockets positioned at a convenient height and safe position with additional dedicated electrical sockets for the cooker and refrigerator.
  • A fixed and impervious worktop of a minimum size 500mm × 1000mm.
  • A storage cupboard of minimum size 0.16m3
  • A refrigerator of minimum size 0.15m3 (5.3ft).

Kitchens (not shared): this means any cooking facilities that are provided for the exclusive use of one household/letting but is accessed by walking outside of the living accommodation.

Kitchens (shared): this is a kitchen that is used by more than one household/letting. For a kitchen to be included within this calculation it must contain a minimum of the following facilities.

  • A fixed sink with drainer provided with an adequate and wholesome supply of cold water and constant supply of hot water
  • A gas or electric cooker with four burners/hobs, oven and grill.
  • A minimum of three double electrical sockets positioned at a convenient height and safe position with additional dedicated electrical sockets for the cooker and refrigerator.
  • A fixed and impervious worktop, 0.5m2 per user to a maximum of 2.5m2 .
  • A storage cupboard of minimum size 0.16m3 per person.
  • A refrigerator with minimum capacity of 0.16m3 (5.6ft) per 5 persons and a freezer with a minimum capacity of 0.11m3 (3.8ft).

Sinks means kitchen sinks not wash hand basins.

WC (shared) means all toilets that are used by/can be used more than one household/letting.

WC (not shared) means all toilets that are provided and used for the exclusive use of only one household/letting.

Bath (shared) means all baths that are used by/can be used more than one household/letting.

Bath (not shared) means all baths that are provide and used for the exclusive use of only one household/letting.

Shower (shared) means a shower unit within a shower cubicle (not a shower unit positioned over a bath) that is used/can be used by more than one household/letting.

Shower (not shared) means a shower unit within a shower cubicle (not a shower unit positioned over a bath) that is provided and used for the exclusive use of only one household/letting.

Wash hand basins, if you answer ‘yes’ to question 2 that all WC compartments or washrooms with a WC within it have a wash hand basin then please list within the grid under ‘wash hand basins’ all wash hand basins that are provided within sleeping rooms and all shower rooms and bathroom that do house a WC. If you answer ‘no’ to question 2 please detail the total number of wash hand basins within all sleeping rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms and any other room that houses a wash hand basin.

Part 8: Fire Safety

All HMOs should have a safe escape route in the event of fire and adequate fire precautions, which include fire alarms, smoke and heat detectors, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and fire blankets. These must be well maintained and adequate for the number of residents and the size of the property.

In Part 8 of the form you are required to provide information of the fire safety provisions present in the property to be licensed. They include fire detection and emergency lighting systems, and other fire precautions such as fire doors and a protected means of escape (i.e. staircases, landings etc). Please tick the appropriate boxes on the form to indicate what fire safety measures there are in the property.

A ‘30 minute fire door’ is one which must be capable of providing 30 minutes fire resistance in terms of integrity when tested or assessed to BS 476 or EN 1634.

An ‘emergency lighting system’ is designed to automatically illuminate the escape route upon failure of the supply to the normal artificial lighting. Any emergency lighting system installed in the property must comply with BS 5266.

‘Fire safety equipment’ such as extinguishers and fire blankets where provided must be checked periodically and the correct type of extinguisher must be provided. As a general guide, water extinguishers are required in escape routes, and carbon dioxide extinguishers along with fire blankets are required in shared kitchens.

The Furnishings (Fire safety) Amendment Regulations 1993 set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. Upholstered furniture must have fire resistant filling material and must pass a cigarette resistance test and permanent covers must pass a match resistance test.

Landlords letting residential property will be expected to ensure that any soft furniture complies with these regulations.

'Upholstered furniture’ which is covered by the above regulations include: beds, headboards, mattresses, sofa-beds, nursery furniture, garden furniture which can be used indoors, furniture in new caravans, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows and loose and stretch covers for furniture.

Furniture must be properly labelled as meeting the requirements of the regulations.

Part 9: Occupancy Information

An ‘occupier’ means a person who occupies the property as a residence; this person can be either a tenant, leaseholder, licensee or a person having an estate or interest in the property. Children and babies are also considered to be occupiers, and should each be counted as one, individual regardless of their age.

A ‘letting’ is any rented unit of accommodation, this could be a

  • Room/bedsit
  • Studio
  • Flat
  • Floor by floor let etc.
  • House

For example, a house let as bedsits and rented to 5 people would count as five lettings.

  • A ‘household’ for the purposes of the Housing Act 2004 comprises:
  • A single person; or
  • Co-habiting couples (whether or not of the opposite sex); or
  • A family, including parents, grandparents, children (including foster children, stepchildren and children being cared for), grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins. Half-relatives will be treated as full relatives.

Any domestic staff are also included in the household if they are living in rent-free accommodation provided by the person for whom they are working.

Therefore, three friends sharing together are considered three households because they are not related as family. If a couple are sharing with a third person that would consist of two households. If a family rents a property this is a single household. If that family had an au-pair to look after their children that person would be included in their household.

A ‘habitable room’ is any room which can be occupied during the day. This includes bedroom, living room, dining room and a large kitchen where an armchair could be used. It does not include bathrooms, WC’s and small kitchens.

When measuring rooms for plans please do not include any floor area which has a ceiling height below 1.5m.

‘Rooms and areas in common use’ are essentially rooms and areas that are accessible by everyone occupying the property, and include shared kitchens and bathrooms, staircases, hallways and landings, storage rooms etc.

Please tell us if the tenants are given a written Tenancy Agreement or similar document which sets out the terms of their contracts with the landlord.

Please tell us whether a written record is made of the furniture, fixtures and fittings in each letting and the condition they are in (an inventory) when tenants move into the property.

Please indicate whether the tenants receive a written record of the rent that has been paid. Unless records are given regularly to all tenants, please tick the ‘No’ box.

Please indicate whether the tenants are given a written procedure which explains what they should do if they have a complaint. This could be a part of the Tenancy Agreement or a separate document.

If the tenants are given a 24 hour telephone number to use in an emergency, please indicate this and give us the telephone number.

If tenants are asked to pay a deposit at the beginning of the tenancy, please indicate this. If a deposit is requested, tell us whether the tenants are given a written procedure for dealing with any dispute about whether the deposit should be returned in full or in part when the tenancy ends. This procedure could be part of the Tenancy Agreement or a separate document.

Part 10: Property Management

The most common ‘gas appliance’ in many properties is the central heating boiler, which provides hot water and/or heating. All associated fittings, including flues, are deemed to be included in the appliance. Wall mounted individual gas heaters need checking, as well as ovens and hobs, and anything else that uses gas as its fuel source.

Businesses and self-employed people working on gas fittings or appliances are legally required to be registered with Gas Safe. If you need to find a registered installer, or need to check anyone’s registration, you can visit the Gas Safe website or telephone their Customer Services on 0800 408 5500.

The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 specify that it is the duty of landlords of relevant premises to ensure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. You must arrange safety checks on an annual basis and provide the council with copies – only certificates produced by a Gas Safe Registered Gas Installer will be acceptable.

Part 11: Fee

Please refer to the relevant fee structure sheet:

How to pay

You can pay by cheque with the Application, or, if you would prefer, over the phone, or in person at the council’s offices by credit or debit card at, Environmental Health & Licensing Horsham District Council Parkside Chart Way Horsham RH12 1RL Tel: 01403 215 405 Publichealth.licensing@horsham.gov.uk

If you choose to pay by card, please tell the officer who takes the payment, which property and application you are paying for at the time.

If you choose to pay by cheque, please staple it to your application and reference the address that you are applying for. Note, that payment only, does not constitute a Licence Application.

If you fail to make a full application, by submitting a satisfactorily, completed application form with necessary supporting documents, your application will not be accepted by the council. An administration fee of £75.00 will be charged for this action. This will be taken from your fee and the remaining monies will be returned to you, along with any documents which you have submitted.

In these circumstances, your property will be unlicensed. Where a landlord fails to licence a property, which requires a licence, it is the council’s policy to examine formal action against to secure compliance.

Part 12: Additional Information

Please use this section if you require any further space to answer any of the previous questions (please indicate which question your answer relates to). You can also use this area to add any further information that you feel could be relevant to your application.

Part 13: Declaration

You must complete Part 13 by using the space provided to list the names, addresses and descriptions (e.g. leaseholder, mortgagee etc) of all persons who need to know that an application for an HMO licence has been made.

If you require more space to complete Part 13, please use the space provided in Part 12, or continue on additional sheets of paper, making sure you clearly number the sheets and attach them securely to the form.

The declaration must be signed and dated by:

  • The applicant
  • The proposed licence holder (if different to the applicant)
  • The manager (if there is a manager)

Checklist

You must ensure that you submit with the application form all the documents that are listed in the checklist section at the end of the form where relevant.

The application will be considered incomplete if any of the required documents are not submitted at the same time as the form.

Exemptions

Housing Act 2004, Schedule 14: Buildings which are not HMOs for the purposes of the Housing Act 2004 (excluding Part 1)

A building where the person managing or having control of it is:

  • a local housing authority,
  • a body which is registered as a social landlord under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52),
  • a police authority established under section 3 of the Police Act 1996 (c. 16),
  • the Metropolitan Police Authority established under section 5B of that Act,
  • a fire and rescue authority, or
  • a health service body within the meaning of section 4 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (c. 19).

Buildings occupied by students: any building which is occupied solely or principally by persons who occupy it for the purpose of undertaking a full-time course of further or higher education at a specified educational establishment or at an educational establishment of a specified description, and where the person managing or having control of it is the educational establishment in question or a specified person or a person of a specified description.

Buildings occupied by religious communities: any building which is occupied principally for the purposes of a religious community whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering.

The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006 Buildings which are not HMOs (excluding Part 1) Schedule 1 Statutory Instrument 2006 No.373

Buildings where its occupation is regulated by;

  • Sections 87, 87A, 87B, 87C and 87D of the Children Act 1989;
  • Section 43(4) of the Prison Act 1952;
  • Section 34 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002;
  • The Secure Training Centre Rules 1998;
  • The Prison Rules 1999;
  • The Young Offender Institute Rules 2000;
  • The Detention Centre Rules 2001;
  • The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (Approved Premises) Regulations 2001;
  • The Care Homes Regulations 2001;
  • The Children's Homes Regulations 2001;
  • and The Residential Family Centres Regulations 2002;

Adult placement schemes

Where a person is receiving care and his carer occupy living accommodation in the same building or part of a building, they are to be regarded as forming a single household for the purposes of section 254 of the Act if the carer is an adult placement carer approved under the Adult Placement Schemes (England) Regulations 2004; and the carer provides care in that living accommodation for not more than three service users under the terms of a scheme permitted by those Regulations. Please contact us if this section applies to your property