The definition of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) under the Housing Act 2004 is a building or part of a building (e.g. a flat) which has:
If you rent rooms or flats within a property to at least three tenants who form more than one household, then it’s likely to be a HMO.
A basement counts as a storey if:
A loft counts as a storey if:
All floors that a business premises occupies will be counted as one storey.
A mezzanine floor counts as a storey if:
A mezzanine floor won’t be counted as a storey if it is only used as access between two floors.
A household can be:
For further information about HMO standards, email the team or contact Housing Enforcement on 020 8379 1000.
It’s a legal requirement under the Housing Act for certain HMOs to have a licence. From 1 April 2017, we charge £130 per let within a property. Either the owner or the manager should make the application.
Tacit Consent does not apply to this licence application. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.
Applicants must be considered to be a fit and proper person. A fit and proper person is someone who hasn’t committed fraud, violence, drug offences, or sexual offences. There must also be no evidence against them of unlawful discrimination in business, violating housing law or breaching codes of practice. Spouses or close associates of proposed licence holders should also not have committed any of these offences.
An HMO requires a mandatory licence if:
Some HMOs which fall outside of the above definitions don’t require a licence. However, they need to comply with the relevant legislation. This includes providing amenities appropriate for the number of residents. As a general rule, this is one bathroom and kitchen for every five people.
Private Sector Housing Standards
We aim to process licence applications within 42 working days on receipt of a valid application. This timescale may increase during periods we receive a high volume of applications.
A valid application must include a completed application form, all relevant certificates and the correct licensing fee. We will carry out relevant checks and an inspection of the property.
The decision will then be made whether to grant or refuse a licence.
The application process may vary depending on the circumstances of each property or the volume of applications we have received. As long as a landlord has submitted a valid application, the HMO can continue to operate legally until we reach a decision and any appeals against that decision are completed.
You will need to enter the information below when making a payment online:
You can also pay by cheque, made payable to London Borough of Enfield. The payment must be attached to your application and posted to the address below. A receipt for the payment can be sent to you on request.
If a licence is refused and you want to appeal against this decision, you can contact the First-Tier Tribunal Service within 28 days on 020 7446 7700 or visit Residential Property Tribunal.
You can view the restricted register by visiting HMO License Register.
We can send you a copy of the full version of the register for a fee of £116.40, or you can view it for free by visiting our main offices during the opening hours. If you wish to request a copy or make an appointment to view the register, email the team.
You will need to send us a valid application at least one month before expiry of the current licence, to allow time for checks to be made and an inspection to be carried out.
Private Sector Housing Standards
You can request to make changes to an existing licence, such as a change of:
For further advice, email the team.
HMOs are inspected for disrepair, inadequate facilities, fire safety, general mismanagement and overcrowding, and to ensure they meet minimum standards. We use the Housing Health and Safety Ratings System (HHSRS) to identify and rate hazards that are found. This is to ensure properties in Enfield are safe to live in.
There are minimum standards (PDF) that apply to HMOs. These standards are used by us to determine the maximum number of occupiers and households for an HMO requiring a licence.
Fire detection and a protected escape route are also required. We work jointly with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LF&EPA) to identify fire hazards in HMOs and share information. We will inform and advise landlords, agents and owners on how to comply with Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS). Where necessary, we will carry out a joint inspection at the premises with the LF&EPA.
We work closely with landlords and agents to improve housing conditions. If we have to take enforcement action, the following charges will apply:
Section 49 & 50 of Housing Act 2004 gives us the power to make a charge to recover certain reasonable expenses incurred in serving formal notices. A charge will normally be made where it has been necessary to take one of these enforcement actions:
If we decide to take formal action to deal with hazards, the following standard fees may apply:
|Hazard awareness notice (if subsequent notice is required)||£185|
|Emergency prohibition order||£370|
|Emergency remedial action||£370|
|Review of suspended improvement notice||£212|
|Review of suspended prohibition order||£212|
|Charge for any subsequent notice served at the same time for the same property||£159|
This regulation imposes duties on managers of HMOs to maintain, repair and keep the property and its facilities in good order.
If any contravention(s) to the regulations are identified in the property, you will be provided with a schedule of works detailing the regulation, the contravention and the work needed to remedy it within a set timescale. If it is not completed, you risk prosecution by the council. If you’re found guilty of an offence, you will be liable to a fine.
For more information, contact our Housing Enforcement team on 020 8379 1000 or visit:
The landlord must:
The licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will change on 1 October 2018, when the extension of HMO mandatory licensing is introduced.
A change in the law means that a licensable HMO will now be defined as:
The individual HMO is required to be licensed, not the building the HMO is situated in. This means that where a building has two flats and each is occupied by five people living in two or more households, each flat must have a separate HMO licence.
If you currently have an HMO mandatory licence, you don’t have to take any action until your licence is due to be renewed. The HMO standards (PDF) will be applied on renewal.