Apply for a House of Multiple Occupation Licence

Penalties for not having a valid licence

It is a criminal offence under Section 72 (1) of the Housing Act 2004 to operate a licensable HMO without having made a valid application.

There are several penalties for operating an unlicensed HMO:

  • If convicted at a magistrate court, an unlimited fine and a criminal record.
  • The council can issue a civil penalty or fine, of up to £30,000 per offence.
  • A rent repayment order can be made to the First Tier Property Chamber who can award the repayment of rent paid by the tenants of an unlicensed HMO for up to a year.
  • Section 21 Notices to Quit are not valid whilst an HMO remains unlicensed.
  • Any enforcement action will be taken into account when deciding whether you are a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence. Repeated offences may result in your inclusion in the Government's database of rogue landlords and property agents.


Planning permission

Planning permission may also be required. For information on the Hatfield Article 4 Directive and the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme (EMS) visit our planning and building pages.


Tacit Consent

Under the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, tacit consent does not apply to these applications for overriding interests of public safety in securing that the premises are safe before they may be licensed.  Therefore you may not use the premises until an application for a licence has been made.