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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12088
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I currently own and run two HMO's (shared houses). I am applying

Customer Question

I currently own and run two HMO's (shared houses). I am applying for licences with my local council for these HMOS. Once they receive my application form can i be prosecuted for the time i did not have a licence ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
As the owner and person in control of an HMO it is your responsibility to ascertain whether the building should have a licence. You are committing an offence if, without a reasonable excuse, you fail to apply for a licence for the HMO if one is required.
If you are prosecuted by the council for not holding a licence and you are convicted of the offence you could face a fine of up to £20,000 plus costs.
The council cannot, however, prosecute for the offence if you have made a valid application for a licence and the council has not made a decision on the application.
Happy to discuss further but the sooner you make the application the better to avoid prosecution for not having a licence.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply but I already have this information as this is printed in the government guidlnes printed in 2007 which is readily available on line! My question is once they receive my application tomorrow will they still prosecute me for not having a licence for the last 10 months that I have been running the HMO ?
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
My answer is clear. If you have applied they cannot prosecute you. That is why that information is on the form; to encourage applications and to legitimise people who have been acting illegally.