Housing licensingApply for a housing licence
If you own or have control of a private rented property in Hastings, you may need to apply for a licence. Please read the information below to find out what types of licensing are in operation in Hastings, and how this may affect you.
Alternatively, if you're not sure which type of licence you need, you can go straight to the Housing licence online application form (action at top of the page). We'll ask you some questions about your property to find out which licence is required, before you continue to the main part of the application form.
The Council's Selective Licensing scheme came to an end on 25 October 2020.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing
If you have control of a property containing multiple dwellings or lettings, you may need to apply for an HMO licence. From 4th May 2018, there are two types of HMO licensing schemes operating in Hastings, which are as follows:
Mandatory HMO Licensing
From 1 October 2018, mandatory HMO licensing applies to all HMOs that are occupied by five or more people, in 2 or more separate households which share facilities such as a bathroom or a kitchen.
From 4th May 2018, the Council introduced an Additional HMO licensing scheme, which applies to certain HMOs not covered by Mandatory Licensing. It also covers certain buildings that have been converted entirely into self-contained flats. This scheme will only apply to properties in Castle, Gensing, Braybrooke and Central St Leonards wards.
You can find out more about HMOs, and the Additional Licensing scheme, including how to apply, on the HMO Licensing Scheme webpage.
Fit and Proper Person Checks
Before issuing a licence, the Council must carry out checks to ensure that any person named as a licence holder or manager in an application has not committed offences or breaches that would make them unsuitable to fulfil that role. To satisfy these checks, all licence holders and managers named in your application must provide a Fit and Proper Person certificate number. This can be obtained online via our Fit and Proper Person online form.
If you, or another licence holder or manager already has a Fit and Proper Person certificate number from a previous application, this can be used again, provided it is not more than 5 years old.
How do I apply for a licence?
From 4th May 2018, all housing licences must be applied for via the Housing licence online form.
I've been asked to provide declarations for my application, how can I do this?
Declarations for your application can be submitted using our online 3rd party declaration online form.
If you've named other persons from whom we need a declaration, and they are unable to use the online form, please contact us to request a hard copy version.
Guidance on housing in multiple occupation and HMO amenity standards
What are the penalties for failing to apply for a licence?
If you own or manage a property that requires licensing, it is your responsibility to ensure that you apply for a licence. Failure to do so is an offence under the Housing Act 2004, and a person committing such an offence is liable to prosecution and an unlimited fine, or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
Rent repayment orders
The Council may also apply for a rent repayment order in respect of unlicensed properties, requiring you to repay benefits paid in respect of tenancies. In certain cases your tenants also have the right to apply for backdated rent to be repaid to them, if you fail to apply for a licence.
Restriction on termination of tenancies
Section 21 'notice to quit' cannot be served on any tenant who is occupying all or part of a property that requires licensing, but where a licence has not been applied for.
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