Houses in Multiple Occupation - Information and Advice

From the 30th June 2006, the Housing Act 2004 places a duty on local authorities in Wales to licence houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

A building, or part of a building, will be an HMO if:

  • it is occupied by persons who do not form a single household; and
  • it is occupied by those persons as their only or main residence and their occupation of the living accommodation constitutes the only use of that accommodation; and
  • rent is payable by at least one of the occupiers; and
  • two or more of the households who occupy the living accommodation share one or more basic amenities or the living accommodation is lacking in one or more basic amenities

Purpose built blocks of self contained flats are not HMOs, but houses or buildings which have been converted into a block of flats may be a HMO if:

  • the standard of conversion does not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations; and
  • less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied.

The full definition can be found in sections 254,  257 and 259 of the Housing Act 2004. 

What is HMO licensing?

Licensing looks at both the HMO itself (fire precaution works, conditions, amenities and suitability for a maximum number if occupiers) and also the licence holder and how they manage the property. The licence holder and any manager nned to be a 'fit and proper' person'. Information regarding standards required in HMOs can be found in the Related documents section.
 

Can a HMO licence transfer from one person to another?

A HMO licence is issued to one person and cannot be transferred to anyone else. If you have a licence for a HMO and you sell the property, the new owner will need to apply for a new licence.
 

Which HMOs have to be licensed in Rhondda Cynon Taf?

In Rhondda Cynon Taff there are two types of HMO Licensing.  

Mandatory Licensing

Mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation is a scheme that applies across the UK. The scheme only applies to houses in multiple occupation that meet the following criteria:

  • The houses in multiple occupation or any part of it comprises three storeys or more; and
  • It is occupied by five or more persons; and
  • It is occupied by person living in two or more single households, with a sharing of facilities.

Additional Licensing (Houses in Multiple Occupation) Scheme 2014

On the 1 st April 2014 the Council introduced a new County Borough wide HMO Licensing Scheme.

This scheme applies to houses in multiple occupation that meet the following criteria.

  • Entire houses or flats which are let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
  • Houses which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
  • Converted houses which contain one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households.
  • Buildings which are converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.

In assessing the storeys in a property for either scheme, we will take account of:

  • Any basement that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation or that is being used in connection with, and as integral part of, the houses in multiple occupation
  • Any attic if it is used wholly or partly as living accommodation or that is being used in connection with, and as an integral part of, the houses in multiple occupation.

Where the houses in multiple occupation is situated in part of a building above or below a business premise, the storey that includes the business premises will be included.

Application process

If your property meets the criteria of any one of the above schemes, you will need to apply for a licence. If your property  already has a five year licence under the 2009 Additional Licensing Scheme (e.g it is a property let to 4 tenants who formed 3 or more households) and this licence extends beyond 31st March 2014, your licence will be automatically transferred onto the 2014 Scheme until at which point it expires.

If your property requires a licence under the 2014 scheme, you can now apply for a licence using the 2014 Scheme Application Form.

Information relating to the new scheme, fee structure and frequently asked questions can be found in this |section of the website.

Contact Us

Telephone: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425301
SMS: 07781 489133
Email: publichealthhousing@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk   |