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 all the criteria set out below at the point of application. In order for this assessment to be made the application will need to be valid at this stage. (See website for details on how to make a valid application).  View the fees and charges for each licence period

One year licence

You will receive a one-year licence if you submit a valid HMO licence application.  

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 submit a valid application and meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Good management at the property
  • Good application history - all documents submitted on time
  • No subsequent reminders for outstanding information, documents or payment needed after the initial contact regarding an invalid application 
  • 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 compliance inspection (renewals only)
  • 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 

Five-year licence

To receive a five-year licence you must submit a valid application and meet all of the following criteria, in addition to the two-year criteria described above:

  • Good application history - all documents submitted on time
  • No subsequent reminders for outstanding information, documents or payment needed after the initial contact regarding an invalid application 
  • Proposed Licence Holder and proposed Manager are accredited by the Council
  • 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
  • Adhere to the principles set out in the Private Rented Sector Code of Practice 
  • Good management at the property: 
  • 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 issues from other internal and external departments (e.g. Planning, Building Control, Police, HMRC, Immigration (BA)) 
  • 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) 
  • No additional conditions added on compliance inspection (renewals only) 
  • No missed appointments or over 10 minutes late; landlord will co-operate with Council officers to arrange inspections and all rooms are available for the inspection 
  • 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 at least 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: 
    • Company employees are suitably qualified in property management 
    • All employees carry out regular continued professional development 
    • The company is registered with a recognised professional association 

Renewing your licence

When renewing your licence, a valid application with all documentation and stage 1 fee must be received before the expiry date of your current licence.  After this date a renewal will not be possible, a new application must be submitted.  

Self-Certification

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 hmo@coventry.gov.uk, 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. 

We aim to issue a new licence within 20 weeks from the date of application (due to Coronavirus, we have extended deadlines for landlords and therefore have extended the processing time – it was previously 18 weeks). Issuing a licence within this time frame is dependent on the landlord supplying the required information and payment within timescales and that no representations are made. Where information or payments are late, or representations made, then the processing time will be longer. Tacit consent does not apply given that we have to check the HMO meets the prescribed standards. If you have not heard from us within 20 weeks, then please contact us.

HMO licensing

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street
Coventry
CV1 5RR

Telephone: 024 7697 5467