Inspection and Licensing of HMOs

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) are often the most testing area of the private rented sector to deal with. They commonly present particular concerns because of both their physical condition and management standards.

The Housing Act 2004 has had a major impact on the way local authorities deal with the private sector. The Act introduced a mandatory requirement on authorities to license larger, higher risk HMOs.

In addition, local authorities  are able to extend licensing to other categories of HMO to address particular problems that may exist in these smaller properties (additional licensing) or deal with low demand areas where there is a high incidence of anti-social behaviour (selective licensing).

Lavender & Wilson can offer high level consultancy to work with local authorities in addressing licensing and other issues with houses in multiple occupation.  Whether you need advice, information or direct action, we can help with:-

  • Undertaking HMO surveys to determine condition and compliance with licensing requirements / standards / overcrowding
  • Developing processes and procedures for mandatory / additional and selective licensing, including Rent Smart Licensing in Wales
  • Developing HMO policies and procedures and undertaking additional training including HHSRS,  Enforcement Options under Housing Act 2004, Service of Notices and works in default, including debt recovery, SAP Rating, good practice and landlord training
  • Project management of implementation through financial assistance and / or enforcement procedures.
  • Taking enforcement action including preparing notices, prosecutions, works in default, power of entry / warrants and acting as expert witness.
  • Applications for Rent Repayment Orders on behalf of Local Authorities or individual occupiers
  • Development of policies relating to financial penalties

We also offer specialist training in this area, both as a standard course or tailored to your particular requirements.