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We introduced a mandatory licensing scheme as required by the Housing Act 2004. The mandatory scheme came into force on 6th April 2006 and applies to all HMOs comprising of three or more storeys and occupied by five or more persons comprising of two or more households.

This is with the exception of the following:

  • Section 257 HMOs where a building has been converted into self contained flats that do not meet the 1991 Building Regulations and less than 2/3rds are owner occupied
  • Buildings managed by educational establishments, registered social landlords, police, a health authority or regulated by other legislation such as residential care homes
  • Buildings occupied by religious communities.

Mandatory HMO licensing aims to raise standards of accommodation in the private rented sector and to ensure that these properties have a decent minimum standard of management.

For a licence to be granted we must be satisfied that:

  • The proposed licence holder and any manager of the property is a fit and property person.
  • Property management standards are being applied at the property.
  • The HMO is reasonably suitable, or can be made suitable, for occupation by the number of tenants allowed under the licence.  As part of this process we consider the number, type and quality of bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities available for the occupants.

If an HMO is operated without a licence, the person having control of, or the person managing the dwelling is liable on conviction, for a maximum fine of £20,000.

Landlords must apply to us for a licence. For further information please phone us on 01395 571572 or email us pshousing@eastdevon.gov.uk