HMOs - advice for landlords
The Council has opened a consultation around a proposal to introduce an Additional HMO Licensing Scheme, which would require smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (occupied by 3 or 4 people) across the whole Town to be licensed. (HMOs occupied by 5 or more people are already required to be licensed by the Housing Act 2004).
You can view further information about the proposals and make your comments by accessing the Private Rented Sector Licensing Consultation in Luton page.
If you're a landlord or someone who owns or manages a house in multiple occupation (HMO), you have a responsibility to maintain certain standards at the property.
- the property is kept in good repair - we assess the condition of housing with reference to the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (download a guide below)
- there's an adequate number of amenities, such as toilets, bathrooms, cooking facilities etc - download ‘HMO standards’ below to view minimum requirements
- there are adequate fire precautions, such as fire doors, smoke detectors, alarms etc - download the ‘guide to fire safety standards for residential properties in Bedfordshire’ below to view minimum requirements
- the property is a suitable size and layout for the number of people or occupants living there - download ‘HMO standards’ below to view minimum requirements
- common parts of the property, eg staircase, shared lounge, fire escapes fixtures and fittings etc, are kept in good order - view the minimum requirements by downloading 'management regulations' below
Mandatory HMO licensing
The mandatory HMO licensing scheme continues. You'll need a licence if you own or manage a property anywhere in Luton and it is occupied by five or more persons, forming two or more households who share common amenities like a bathroom or kitchen.
If you operate an HMO and have not applied for a licence, you run the risk of prosecution. Operating an HMO without the proper licence is a criminal offence and carries an unlimited fine on summary conviction. In addition, tenants will be able to claim back a year’s worth of rent from you.
Please note that we'll only process applications which are valid - this means that each application for each property must be fully completed. You should note that incomplete applications will be rejected and an administration fee of £122 retained.
Within the form you will need to provide details including:
- the number of letting rooms, storeys and occupants including any children/families
- statements and declarations that the licence holder(s), person(s) in control and or managing the property are ‘fit and proper persons’ and a statement
- declaration that any furniture and furnishings within the property comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended)
- details of the management arrangements, for example how you or your manager deal with:
- complaints from tenants
- tems of disrepair
Required documents/certificates for all properties
- If there is gas at the property a current Landlords Gas Safety Certificate - the certificate must be carried out by a competent Engineer (within the last 12 months) and must cover any gas appliances within the property.
- Current (within the last five years) Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) - the report must be carried out by a competent engineer registered with one of the following professional bodies:
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Copy of the existing Tenancy Agreement/Rental Contract(s), or if the premises are currently unoccupied, a copy of the agreements you propose to issue to your tenants.
- Residency check – you will be required to demonstrate that you are entitled to reside and remain in the United Kingdom, such as a valid UK Passport, or a permanent residence card issued by the Home Office.
For HMOs, you will require the following documents in addition to those detailed aboveA copy of floor plans showing the layout of the property, we recommend that each floor is drawn on 1 side of A4 sheet of paper and must show the following:
- number, type and location of any smoke/heat detectors, emergency lighting and any fire alarm control panels including any ‘remote hush, test and locate switches,
- where each fire door is located, the plans must also show the location of each window and staircase
- show the location of kitchens, bathrooms, WCs, sinks, wash hand basins and any other common areas such as lounges and dining rooms
- any cupboards located under any staircases and on any halls or landings
- any chimney breasts in any rooms including the number and location of any electrical sockets
- the measurements of each bedroom, flat, bedsit and any common rooms such as kitchens, kitchen/diners, lounge and dining rooms
The plans do not have to be to scale but the measurements and layout of the property and each room must be accurate, you can show the measurements in square metres for each room or you can show the room dimensions this will enable us to assess how many people can occupy the property.
For more information on space standards in HMOs please refer to the council’s HMO standards
Please note: the council can do floor plans for you but there is a charge for this service (please see property licence fees for more details). An example floor plan is downloadable from the councils HMO - advice for landlords.
- A fire alarm test certificate complying with BS5839 (tested within the last 12 months)
- If an emergency lighting system is present, a test certificate complying with BS5266 (tested within the last 12 months)
- Fire safety checklist
Your documents will need to be uploaded during the electronic application process so please ensure that you have stored each document separately and in accordance with this guidance. See electronic document guidance for more information.
To apply for a licence
You can also submit a paper application although there is an additional non-refundable fee
Find out more about property licence fees
1st Floor Annexe, Town Hall, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 547222