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HMO licensing

Length of licence

Coventry City Council now issues mandatory licences for one-, two- and five-year periods. To be eligible for a given length of licence, the landlord must meet the criteria set out below. The fees for each licence period are shown on our Fees and charges page.

One year licence

To receive a 1 year licence you must:

  • Complete a valid licence application.

There are no additional pre-requisite criteria for receiving an annual licence. You must be a “fit and proper person” and the HMO must be suitable for occupation for the number of people you wish it to be licensed for. Although not a prerequisite for receiving a one-year licence, you still have a legal duty to comply with all relevant Acts and Regulations; including (but not restricted to) the Housing Act 2004, Planning and Building Regulations, and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

To receive an annual licence you and the manager of the HMO must be also be a “competent” person and there must be no concerns over the management of the house.

All first-time licensees will have one-year licences unless they are able to provide evidence that they have other licensed properties in England or Wales.

Two year licence

To receive a two-year licence you must:

  1. Complete a valid application(this may be when you have been sent the first renewal reminder or made a new application for this type of licence).

A valid application consists of:

  1. An application form submitted
  2. Fee payment
  3. Signed declaration returned
  4. Have a good history e.g. all licence applications made on time, no outstanding licence conditions (all work completed as required on inspection and minor new conditions permitted at our discretion), satisfactory certificates provided up to date, no issues with other council departments
  5. Have a maximum of two justified service requests (complaints about the property we have taken action to resolve)
  6. Have a minimum EPC rating of E (or registered exempt from the Energy Act 2016 requirements)
  7. Provide a signed two-year licence self-certification form confirming you have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment for your licensed HMO. This is in addition to the signed declaration required in point 1 (3).

To be eligible for a longer licence all documentation must be received at least two weeks before the licence expiry date.  After this date a one year licence will automatically be issued.  If your application for these types of licences is rejected, you will be refunded the difference between the standard fee and your selected fee.

Five year licence

  1. Valid application completed promptly or a renewal when sent the first renewal reminder:
    • Application form complete
    • Fee paid
    • Declaration signed
    • Full-scheme or five-year licence self-certification forms signed by the licence holder
  2. Have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment  for the property which meets the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  3. Have a good history with us:
    • All licence applications made on time
    • No outstanding licence conditions
    • No recent complaints about the property we have taken action to resolve
    • All certificates provided up to date and satisfactory
    • No issues with other departments within the council
  4. Have suitable maintenance arrangements in place with suitably qualified and competent tradespeople for the upkeep of the HMO
  5. Proposed Licence Holder and proposed Manager are or have applied to be accredited by the Council
  6. Adhere to the principles set out in the Private Rented Sector Code of Practice
  7. Managing Agents (with sole or joint management responsibility) meet the following additional criteria:
    • 50% or more of the company’s employees are suitably qualified in property management
    • All employees carry out regular continued professional development
    • The company is registered with a recognised professional association

Important information - your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to meet all of the eligibility criteria for the licence and provide all necessary evidence when requested. If you do not provide all requested documentation in time, we will automatically assess your application based on the evidence we hold and issue a licence accordingly, which will generally be an annual licence.

Should any issues arise or new information be discovered after the licence is issued, Coventry City Council reserves the right to revoke the licence. If you are found to have provided false or misleading information or made a false declaration, we may take enforcement action against you.

HMO licensing


Tel: 024 7697 5467

Coventry City Council
PO Box 15
Council House

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