The deadline to submit an online application is midnight 30 November 2015. After this date you will be deemed 'unlicensed'
This is the process your application will follow as it moves towards the granting of an HMO licence.
If you are unsure whether you need a HMO licence, you can check here Or view the flowchart below.
Step 1 - Prepare to apply for your licence
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL BE REJECTED
If you do not provide the correct information when asked or do not upload the relevant documents, your application will be rejected. It is therefore very important that you have the relevant information and documents to hand BEFORE you start your online application.
- Basic Disclosure Certificate – the licence holder must provide a Basic Disclosure with their licence application. The licence holder must upload this certificate to their application within 28 days of submission. See step 2 below for how to apply.
- Planning permission – planning permission may be required in order to use a property as an HMO. HMO licensing does not grant exemption from the need to obtain planning permission. You will need planning permission for the following scenarios before you let the house as an HMO. Please note that planning permission may or may not be approved.
- To change the use of a house to a large (Sui generis use class) HMO, which consists of more than six unrelated individuals sharing basic amenities (planning permission has always been required for this change of use)
- To change the use of a house from a single family dwelling (Class C3) to a House in Multiple Occupation (Class C4) after 1 July 2014 - Article 4 Direction
To work out how you are affected by Article 4 and what you need to do next choose:
Property occupied as an HMO prior to 1 July 2014
You do not need to apply for planning permission if the dwelling was occupied as an HMO prior to 1 July 2014. You will need to provide proof of this to the Council if you have not already done so.
If you have already registered your property as an HMO with the Planning Department as part of the introduction of Article 4 or you have already submitted your tenancy agreements to the Housing Team during an application for Accreditation, you do not need to do anything further.
If you have not already registered your property.
- When submitting your licence application, please upload a Tenancy Agreement for each tenant who lived in the property for the period covering 1 July 2014.
Property first occupied as an HMO after 1 July 2014
You will require planning permission under the Article 4 Direction if the HMO was first occupied as an HMO after 1 July 2014.
While planning and licensing have separate legislation, we cannot license a property unless it has the proper planning permission or we are satisfied that it does not require planning permission (HMO tenanted prior to 1 July 2014).
- Please provide planning reference number
- By completing the online application form you are giving us permission to pass on your information to our Planning Department to check if planning permission has been granted.
You should contact the Planning department for further information if you are unsure. Planning and licensing have different objectives and separate legislation. You will need to comply with both Article 4 and HMO Licensing.
- Floor plan – you MUST upload a sketch of a floor plan, including room dimensions (not required to be to scale). See application form for codes to use on your plan. This must also include the location of all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (mark SD and CM on the plan where they are located).
- Certificates - properties MUST comply with Standards, Conditions and Management Regulations prior to submitting your application. You MUST therefore upload the following current safety certificates and reports where applicable. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that these documents are kept up to date and made available to tenants at all times. Worcester City Council reserves the right to request a copy of any certificates at any time. These should be sent to the authority within seven days of receiving a written request.
Gas Safety Certificate (required for properties with a gas supply)
Electrical Safety Certificate
Fire Alarm Test Certificate
Fire Extinguishers Test certificate (or proof of purchase if extinguishers are less than 12-months old)
Emergency Lighting Certificate (required for HMOs with 3 or more storeys)
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificate (required for appliances over 12 months old)
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Tenancy Agreements (where applicable – please see section above on Planning Permission)
- Declaration - you MUST complete the declaration at the end of the application and submission of the form will constitute your agreement in the absence of a signature. Please note that it is a criminal offence to make a false statement in an application for an HMO licence or fail to comply with any condition of the licence.
- Fee payment - the correct fee MUST be paid when the application is submitted. You will be able to submit your payment online before completing the application. Payment can be made with a credit or debit card.
Step 2 - Applying for a Basic Disclosure Certificate
A Basic Disclosure contains only convictions considered unspent under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) process criminal record check requests, and issue a certificate (disclosure) detailing the applicants convictions, or state that they have none.
- You can apply via DBS if you live in England and Wales.
- You can apply via nidirect if you live in Northern Ireland.
- You can apply via mygov if you live in Scotland.
The fee for a Basic Disclosure is £25. You will need to pay using a credit or debit card. All major cards are accepted. Please have your card details handy before you proceed.
You will be asked to provide:
- Your address history for the past five years
- Your National Insurance number
You will need to register with Gov.uk Verify if you have not previously done so. It will take about 15 minutes to set up and you will need proof of identity (for example a passport, valid driving licence or birth certificate).
The Disclosure and Barring Service website advises that requests take up to 14 days to process. Please upload your certificate to your licence application once received. You do not need to post the original document to the Council.
Step 3 - Apply & pay online for an HMO licence
From 1 September 2015, you will be able to apply online for an HMO licence. Your application can be submitted once the form has been completed correctly and your payment has been made.
After submitting the form, you will receive a separate email (within 24 hours) with instructions on how to upload your supporting documents.
We will not be able to process your application until all the documents have been submitted.
- Apply for an HMO licence
- Pay for the application online
- By ticking the box and submitting the form you understand that this constitutes your signature
- You will receive an automatic response confirming submission of your application form
- Within 24 hours, you will receive a second email with instructions on how to submit your documents
Step 4 - Verification of online application
We process the online application form by:
- Verifying the documents you have submitted
- Checking that you as a landlord are a "Fit and Proper Person"
- Ensuring suitable management arrangements are in place if you are not eligible to manage the property yourself
- Checking that you have paid the paid the correct fee and have the correct planning consent
- Ensuring that your property is compliant and eligible for a licence
If the Council intends to grant the licence, a draft licence with conditions will be emailed to the applicant, licence holder and all interested parties. All recipients will have 28 days to respond to the terms and conditions of the licence.
If the Council is minded to refuse the licence, a letter detailing the decisions and the reasons for refusal will be sent to the applicant, licence holder and all interested parties. All recipients will have 28 days to respond to the decision.
Please note that you are submitting a declaration stating that the property complies with Standards, Conditions and Management Regulations at the time of application. It is an offence to make a false statement in an application for an HMO licence. In the application, you will have the opportunity to tell us of any areas where your property may not comply. You will be contacted directly to discuss this information before a decision is made.
If you have not disclosed all relevant information and we have concerns that a property is operating as a non-compliant HMO we reserve the right to gain access to the property to inspect giving 24 hours' notice.
Step 5 – Licence
If we do not hear from you within 28 days of issuing the draft licence, we will automatically issue a full licence to the applicant, licence holder and all interested parties.
If we do not hear from you within 28 days of informing you of our intent to refuse the licence, the licence will be refused. You have a right to appeal this decision.
Step 6 - Details added to the Public Register of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
The Council has a duty under the Housing Act 2004 to maintain a public register of all licensed properties. Therefore your details will be added to the public register once you have been issued a licence. The public register is available on our website and updated monthly.
Step 7 Appointment for a property inspection
An officer will arrange an inspection of the property to confirm compliance with the licensing requirements and the Standards, Conditions and Management Regulations.
An inspection of each HMO will also be carried out under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which is set out in the Housing Act 2004.This will include a risk assessment of the effect of housing conditions on the health and safety of occupiers.
Further conditions to carry out certain work may be included as part of the licence
At the time of inspection, the officer will need to see a copy of the licence holder's photo identification. This can be a passport or a photo card driving licence. Please ensure that the licence holder is present at the inspection.
Step 8 Additional licence conditions (where applicable)
Where applicable, you (and any interested parties) will receive a further list of conditions that have been added to the licence. These are property-specific dependent on the outcome of the inspection. You have 28 days to respond to these conditions, after which time they are considered to be accepted.
Please note you will not receive another copy of the licence – the licence that you received when you submitted your application is a valid licence.
An electronic (web and email) form has been adopted to make the licence application process as efficient as possible. These methods have become standard business practice in the general community and have been embraced by the Council.
- Applicants who do not have their own email address can nominate a relative, friend or colleague to receive email communications on their behalf.
- All correspondence, including the licence, will be sent via email. It is important to make sure that your email address is entered correctly on the form.
- Applicants who do not have their own access to the web can arrange with a relative, friend or colleague to submit an application on their behalf. Public computers are also available (for example, in libraries).
- The Hive offers FREE six-week Computer Basics courses. Please ask library staff if you are interested in signing up.
- Digital Champion volunteers are also available in The Hive Monday-Friday 10am-3pm to help with basic IT queries and online form completion.
- Applicants unable to make an online application may obtain a paper version at our discretion and assessed on an individual case by case basis by requesting a copy from the HMO Licensing Officer.
Anyone who would like further information about an application for a licence or require general advice should contact:
Worcester City Council
Strategic Housing and Community Activity Services
Tel: 01905 722288