If you are the landlord of a HMO property you will need to licence your property with us (as well as following the Rent Smart Wales requirements for registration/licensing).
You will also have extra legal responsibilities in terms of how you manage the property for the tenants.
What is a HMO?
Under the Housing Act 2004 a HMO is:
- an entire house or flat occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a house that has been converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and occupied by three or more tenants, forming two or more households and sharing a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained and which is occupied by three or more tenants occupying two or more households
- a building converted entirely into self-contained flats where less than two thirds are in owner occupation and where the conversion did not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations
What does a ‘household’ mean in terms of HMOs?
A ‘household’ could be a single person, or members of the same family living together. Members of the same family includes people who are married or living together as married (including those in a same-sex relationship) as well as close relatives and foster children living with foster parents.
If an HMO is not licensed when it should be, the person having control of or managing the HMO commits a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000). The landlord (or manager) of the property is responsible for applying for a HMO licence.
The Housing Act 2004 provides for the mandatory licensing of certain HMOs.
Generally a HMO will need a mandatory licence if it fits all of the following criteria:
- Shared by five or more people
- Has three or more storeys (including basements, attics and commercial units)
Our ‘Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2016’ covers all HMOs, except those subject to mandatory licensing, or those that are exempt under the relevant sections of the Housing Act 2004.
The ‘Wrexham County Borough Council Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2011’ came to an end on 31 October 2016. Licenses issued under this scheme remain valid, unless revoked, until the expiry date on the licence. Before this licence expires, if the HMO still needs to be licenced you will need to make a new application.
Read the Public Notice below regarding the introduction of our ‘Wrexham County Borough Council Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2016’.
Apply for a licence
House in multiple occupation (HMO) licence overview
If you rent out a property for house in multiple occupation (HMO), you may require a licence from us (as your local housing authority).
As the local housing authority we operate mandatory and additional HMO licensing schemes.
If your property counts as a HMO you must apply for a licence from us (a fee will apply).
|Eligibility criteria||You must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence.
The proposed manager must be a fit and proper person.
|Licensing criteria||A summary of the licensing criteria for this licence (external link)|
|Application evaluation process||Licences will be granted if the:
|Will tacit consent apply?||No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. You should contact us if you have not heard whether your application has been granted or not within the target completion period.|
|Target completion period||70 calendar days.|
Phone: 01978 298989
Wrexham County Borough Council, Housing Services, Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
|Appeal a failed application||Contact us in the first instance.
You may appeal to a residential property tribunal.
Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
|Licence holder appeal||
Contact us in the first instance.
You may appeal to a residential property tribunal about conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence.
|Consumer complaint||If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may do so to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.|
Licence application fees
|New licence (Mandatory Licence or Additional Licence) - 5 years||£816.00 (£448.80 is to be paid at the application stage, the remaining £367.20 is to be paid once a decision to grant the licence has been made but prior to the issue of the licence).|
|New licence (Mandatory Licence or Additional Licence) - 1 year||£510 (£280.50 is to be paid at the application stage, the remaining £229.50 is to be paid once a decision to grant the licence has been made but prior to the issue of the licence).|
|Renewal (Mandatory Licence only) - 5 years||£497 (£273.35 is to be paid at the application stage, the remaining £223.65 is to be paid once a decision to grant the licence has been made but prior to the issue of the licence).|
You can also purchase a copy of the HMO Register for £8.
Licence conditions and management regulations
In HMOs that require a licence the number of persons and household permitted forms part of the licence conditions, and any restrictions on the use of rooms are also included.
Allowing a HMO to be occupied by more households or persons than permitted under the licence is a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000).
See ‘Required standards for licensed HMOs’ for information about room size requirements (depending on the type of HMO and number of occupants).
HMOs exempt from licensing
In HMOs that are exempt from licensing the number of persons and households can still be restricted, as can the use of rooms, if an Overcrowding Notice is served.
Mandatory conditions require the licence holder to...
- provide to us (as the local authority) a gas safety certificate of the annual inspection
- keep electrical appliances and furniture (provided by the manager of the property) in a safe condition and to supply to us, on demand, with a declaration by the manager as to their safety (including safety certificates for electrical appliances)
- install smoke alarms and keep them in proper working order and to supply to us, on demand, with a declaration as to their safety
- supply the occupiers with a written statement of the terms under which they occupy.
This is a summary of the mandatory licence conditions - for more details on the duties that a manager of a HMO must carry out visit the legislation.gov.uk links below (under management regulations).
Along with the mandatory conditions, we (Wrexham Council) include other conditions which we consider appropriate for regulation of the management, use and occupation of the HMO and its condition and contents.
Each licence contains conditions, specific to a particular HMO that may require additional work and/or restrict the use of part of the property, in addition to the standard conditions that must be complied with at all times (or within the timescale indicated).
Each breach of a licence condition is an offence that is punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000).
- For all HMOs other than converted blocks of flats, the ‘Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006’ apply.
- For converted blocks of flats, Section 257 HMOs the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2007 apply.
Under the regulations, duties are also imposed on the tenants.
Each breach of a regulation is an offence that is punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000).
Visit the Law Wales website for further information or you can contact our Environmental Health and Housing Standards team by emailing HealthandHousing@wrexham.gov.uk or by calling 01978 292040.
Required standards for licensed HMOs
The following documents describe the prescribed standards that must be met for each type of HMO.
The prescribed standards are in addition to the requirements under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
To request printed copies of these documents you can contact Housing Standards by emailing HealthandHousing@wrexham.gov.uk.
Planning permission is required if you want to build a property, add an extension or change the use of a building, for the purpose of it being a HMO.
The following guidance note sets out how we will assess proposals for HMOs, both in terms of how we intend to manage concentrations of HMOs in Wrexham as well as other standards that proposed HMO developments will be expected to meet. The guidance note expands upon relevant Unitary Development Plan (UDP) policies and will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
Some types of buildings are exempt from licensing, these include:
- properties managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS), a local authority or a Registered Social Landlord
- buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders.
HMOs in Wrexham
We provide a list of properties that are currently licensed as HMOs in Wrexham, including addresses and the expiry date of each licence. If there are any properties currently registered as having an exemption notice we will also provide a 'register of temporary exemption notices' below.