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This page was last updated 02 October 2023.

New licensing software

The Property Licensing and Housing Enforcement team have been working on the implementation of new software, which should streamline the HMO licensing process. The main improvements for customers are:

  • Functionality which allows you to save an application at any stage of the process
  • An online portal which stores all application history, with separate sections for pending applications and licences issued. Customers will be able to view the status of each application and any outstanding fees that need to be paid.
  • The ability to copy the application and resubmit it for another property address – very useful for student blocks with multiple HMOs of the same layout
  • A triage system to help establish which licence you need to apply for
  • An improved licence register that allows you to search licensed properties, and will be updated live rather than monthly.

We went through the testing stage and we are planning to go live with new and renewal HMO applications and Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) applications on 26 September 2022.

In order to submit a new/renewal HMO application and TEN application, you will be required to register on the Online Portal. You will be able to save your details, to avoid imputing them every time when applying for a licence.

It should be noted that transferring all the historical data from the new system will take some time, therefore Applications to Vary or Revoke the Licence will remain the same. We will also have 2 separate Public Registers – the existing one and new one available in the Online Portal. We will be informing customers when we move to the new software fully.

Article 4 Direction

On 30 September 2023, an Article 4 direction was implemented across certain wards in Coventry. This direction removed the permitted development right to change the use of a C3 property (“dwellinghouse”) to a C4 property (“house in multiple occupation”) within the following wards: Cheylesmore, Earlsdon, Foleshill, Lower Stoke, Radford, St. Michael's, Sherbourne, Wainbody, Whoberley, Westwood and Upper Stoke.

Any person wishing to convert a residential house into an HMO within the affected wards will first need to make a change of use planning application, even if the HMO will have fewer than seven tenants. Properties that were already in lawful use as HMOs with fewer than seven tenants before the direction came into effect will not need to make a planning application.  However, if such a property ceases to be used as an HMO (for example, if it is rented to a single family) then a change of use planning application will need to be made to bring the property back into use as an HMO.

Landlord accreditation

We have recently launched the Coventry Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS). This is a free, voluntary scheme that private residential Landlords and Letting Agents are encouraged to join. The aims of the scheme are to improve the condition and management of the private rented sector in Coventry. We will encourage, acknowledge and actively promote good standards of privately rented accommodation with the aim of assisting Landlords, Letting Agents and tenants to undertake their respective responsibilities to each other. Landlords accredited by the scheme may be eligible for cheaper, longer-lasting HMO licences.

To find out more about the scheme, please visit the Landlord Accreditation web pages.

Additional licensing

During the first quarter of 2019, we consulted on proposals relating to Additional Licensing across the city. This will require those HMOs which do not meet the criteria for Mandatory Licensing to be licensed.  

We also consulted on proposals relating to Selective Licensing in selected wards. This would require all non-HMO privately rented properties within the designated areas to be licensed.

The consultation has now closed, and the results have been assessed by Cabinet and Full Council. Following the assessment, it was determined:

  • To approve the scheme relating to the whole of the city being subject to Additional Licensing.
  • Not to progress with Selective Licensing at this time.

As a consequence, from 4 May 2020, HMOs in Coventry comprising fewer than five persons now need to be licensed, as will certain properties that have been converted into self-contained flats ("Section 257 HMOs"). You can find out more about property licensing

The application process is the same for all types of HMO. We have recently updated our application form to make it simpler to use.

New fees

We have updated our HMO licence fees from 1 April 2023. 

Supporting Certificates for Licence Applications

We appreciate that landlords may not have been able to enter properties to obtain certificates when the Additional Licensing designation was introduced.  Following the removal COVID-19 restrictions by the Government, we expect landlords to provide all required up-to-date certificates to us at the time of submitting a HMO licence application. A full list of the necessary supporting certificates is available on the Licensing Process page of this website.

We would take this opportunity to remind landlords that as a consequence of legislative changes that have recently taken effect, it is now a requirement to have an up-to-date electrical safety certificate for all privately rented properties, regardless of HMO status.

Should lockdown measures be reintroduced, we will send out a further update via the landlord forum mailing list. Up-to-date information is also available on this news page. 

HMO licensing

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 5467

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