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Applying for a HMO licence

Apply or renew a HMO licence online

You can download the  Application for a Licence for a House in Multiple Occupation or request a printed application form from us by emailing PRS@birmingham.gov.uk or calling 0121 303 4009 (option 2).  Consult the application guidance and glossary of terms document for help completing your application. 

Applications to renew an existing HMO licence should be submitted two months before the existing licence expires.

What goes with the application

With your application you must also provide:

  • The appropriate licence fee 
  • A floor plan of the property indicating room sizes, location of the bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities plus the position of smoke alarms, emergency lighting units and fire doors  
  • A current gas safety certificate, renewed annually (if the property has a gas supply). Any application received without this certificate will be invalid. Failure to provide an appropriate gas safety certificate within 14 days of request may result either in legal proceedings or a refused application. The case may be referred to the Health and Safety Executive.
  • A valid electrical test certificate. If you do not have one, you will be asked to supply one within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A portable appliance test certificate for any electrical equipment you supply as part of the tenancy. If you do not have a certificate, you will be asked to supply one within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A declaration that all upholstered furniture supplied complies with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. To comply with the regulations, your furniture must:
    • Carry a permanent and non-detachable manufacturer’s label
    • Have fire resistant filling material
    • Pass the ‘match resistance test’ as prescribed
    • Pass the ‘cigarette test’ as prescribed.

The following items of furniture are included in the above:

  • Armchairs, sofas, sofa beds, futons and other convertible furniture
  • Beds, bed bases and headboards, mattresses, divans and pillows
  • Nursery furniture
  • Garden furniture that could be used indoors
  • Loose, stretch and fitted furniture covers, scatter cushions, and seat pads.
  • Details of what fire precautions currently exist in the property, including the location of any fire doors and smoke alarms. If your property does not comply with required standards you will be required to install additional fire safety measures within a specified period of time as a condition of the licence.
  • A written statement for each occupier of the terms on which they occupy the property, such as a tenancy agreement.

Application times

We aim to process valid applications as quickly as possible. The length of the application process will depend on circumstances, including whether we need to inspect the property to confirm it is suitable for licensing.

Tacit approval is not automatically given to any application for a HMO Licence.  In the interest of public safety, each licence application must be given full consideration by the council before it can be approved. 

Approved applications

Once an application has been approved, the HMO licence will be valid for up to five years but may be for a shorter period, depending upon circumstances.

In some cases the licence may not be granted for the full five years, for example if there are any concerns over the management of the property or if there has been a history of problems of anti-social behaviour associated with the property.

Also, if you fail to make a timely application for a licence then the period of time that the property has been operating as a licensable HMO without a licence may be reduced. This is to ensure equity with those landlords who have made timely applications

In some circumstances, we may also apply licence conditions that:

  • Restrict the use or occupation of parts of the HMO
  • Require you to take steps to deal with anti-social behaviour if there are any reported problems
  • Require you to improve the condition of the property and its contents, such as furniture, bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities
  • Require you to carry out works to make the house is suitable for occupation by the intended maximum number of persons or households within a specified timeframe
  • Require the licence holder or manager to attend an approved training course.