Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with 3 or more storeys and 5 or more occupants require a HMO license.
HMO Licensing has been in effect since 6 April 2006 following the introduction of the Housing Act 2004. It is mandatory for those that manage Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with 3 or more storeys and 5 or more occupants to hold a HMO licence. The Council must maintain a public register of all HMO licences that they issue.
It is a legal requirement for all landlord/agents who are renting such properties to apply to the council for a licence. Failure to apply for a licence may lead to a fine of up to £20 000, a criminal record, and potentially rent repayment orders.
The cost per property/licence is £335. There is a reduction to £225 for licence holders who are members of Barnsley's Accreditation Scheme. Licences are not transferable.
Once a valid licence application has been received we will visit the house to establish its suitability, and to assess which amenities or repairs, if any, are required. Property owners or their agent must be able to accompany the Officer during the licensing visit. Access will be required to all rooms in the house. Tenants must be given at least 24 hours notice before entry.
If the following requirements are met a licence will be issued. The length of the licence is usually 5 years.
- the house is reasonably suitable for occupation by a specified number of people
- the house meets the conditions of the licence
- the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person
- the proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
Allowing a licensed HMO to be occupied by more than the permitted number of people on the licence , and any breach of the HMO conditions is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £5000 per offence.
The council is responsible for checking Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to ensure that they are in a satisfactory condition, have adequate means of escape from fire, sufficient bathrooms and kitchens, adequate space and proper management.
These inspections are undertaken on a risk based inspection frequency and there is no charge applied to the tenants or landlord for such inspections.
In cases of were enforcement action is taken charges may be applied for officer time including that of any inspection carried out.