Q l live in a house where there are six other tenants. I have read that my landlord should have a licence for this type of property. He has told me he does not have to have one. Is this correct?
A You live in a house in multiple occupation (HMO). If the property you live in has three or more floors, five or more tenants belonging to more than one household, and some amenities (such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities) are shared, a licence is required.
Anyone who owns or manages a HMO must apply to the council for a licence. The Local Authority will give a licence if it is satisfied that the HMO is a suitable size for the number of occupants, the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person and properties and tenancies are managed appropriately.
The licence will specify the maximum number of people and include certain safety conditions. Each occupier must have a written statement of the terms. If a landlord fails to apply for a licence, or allows the property to be occupied by more than the permitted number of people, a fine of up to pounds 20,000 can be imposed. Breaking other conditions can result in a fine of up to pounds 5,000.
If you think your landlord should have a licence, contact Housing Enforcement at Coventry City Council. The council can prosecute landlords for failure to obtain a licence and in extreme cases can take over management of the property.
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