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. View the fees and charges for each licence period.

One year licence

You will receive a one-year licence if one or more of the following apply:

  • There is a history of poor management of the property
  • Application history is poor – application, fee or documents not submitted on time.
  • One or more reminders needed after an initial reminder to renew/submit the outstanding paperwork
  • Referral to the enforcement team to obtain certificates or to chase application
  • Licence conditions not complied with on time (either at revisit but before new licence or conditions carried over)
  • Serious health and safety/disrepair/fire safety conditions on the licence
  • Repeated requests to extend the time to complete work
  • Three or more justified service requests (complaints to the Council by tenants or other parties about conditions in the house)
  • Missed appointments or over 10 minutes late or landlord will not co-operate with Council officers to arrange inspections
  • Access prevented to some rooms – another inspection required
  • No Fire Risk Assessment

There are no additional prerequisite criteria for receiving an annual licence. The proposed licence holder and the proposed manager must be a “fit and proper person” as defined by the Housing Act 2004 and must have a registered UK address. The HMO must be suitable for occupation for the number of people you wish to accommodate. 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 also be a “competent” person and there must be no concerns over the management of the house.

All first-time licensees will normally receive one-year licences unless they are able to provide evidence that they have other licensed properties in England or Wales.  The Council will consider (but not guarantee to grant) applications for a two- or five-year licence if operating other licensed HMOs is the only eligibility criterion which is not met.

Two-year licence

To receive a two-year licence you must meet the following criteria:

  • Where the landlord wishes to be the licence holder and has an agent, the agent must have full management control to take advantage of the two-year licence
  • Good management at the property
  • The landlord and agent must have attended one-day CLAS training. Alternatively, the landlord and agent must have ANUK membership in lieu of CLAS.
  • Good application history - all documents submitted on time
  • No subsequent reminders needed after the initial reminder
  • No issues from other internal and external departments (e.g. Planning, Building Control, Police, HMRC, Immigration (BA))
  • Minor health and safety/disrepair/fire safety conditions on the licence
  • Licence conditions completed on revisit
  • Have a maximum of two justified service requests (complaints about the property we have taken action to resolve)
  • No missed appointments (when running late, Council is informed), no difficulty arranging appointments
  • All rooms available to inspect
  • Fire Risk Assessment in place

When renewing your licence, to be eligible for a longer licence all documentation must be received before the expiry date of your current licence. After this date, a one year licence will automatically be issued.

Five-year licence

  • Proposed Licence Holder and proposed Manager are accredited by the Council. Alternatively, the landlord and agent must have ANUK membership in lieu of CLAS.
  • Adhere to the principles set out in the Private Rented Sector Code of Practice
  • Arrangements in place for regular maintenance/repairs i.e. British Gas Homecare or similar
  • Arrangements in place for the cleaning, e.g. cleaning  contracts
  • Membership of other professional association – RICS, ARLA (agent only)
  • No reminders needed - Agent or Landlord takes full responsibility for ensuring certificates are uploaded/ provided on an annual basis i.e. gas.
  • A management arrangement and terms of business in place. A copy of this agreement to be provided on request (applies only if a property is managed by an agent)
  • Proposed Licence holder to provide a DBS certificate if not accredited/not seeking accreditation with CLAS or ANUK and where the agent is accredited/member of ANUK and is acting as the manager with full management responsibility for the property. Request a check.
  • Agreed audit approach
  • No additional conditions / no need to revisit.
  • No properties with EPC rating F or G
  • No justified service requests (complaints to the Council by tenants or other parties about conditions in the house)
  • Landlord or agent carry out inspections themselves every 6 months and at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
  • Fire Risk Assessment in place
  • Managing Agents (with sole or joint management responsibility) meet the following additional criteria:
  1. Company employees are suitably qualified in property management
  2. All employees carry out regular continued professional development
  3. The company is registered with a recognised professional association

When renewing your licence, to be eligible for a longer licence all documentation must be received before the expiry date of your current licence.  After this date, a one year licence will automatically be issued.  


If you apply to us via our online application form, you will be asked to certify there that you meet the relevant eligibility criteria. If you are applying to renew a licence or need to update an open licence application, you can download and complete one of our self-certification forms. Please return the form by e-mail to [email protected], making reference in the subject header to the address of the property in question.

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

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 024 7697 5467

Coventry City Council
PO Box 15
Council House

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