HMO licencing - proof of application?

Hi, I am looking for advice on HMOs. From what I understand, a landlord can rent the property as an HMO as long as they have applied for a licence. Does the landlord have an obligation to provide evidence of the application for an HMO licence to the tenant? What if they refuse? Or claim they don’t have the information? Thank you!

A landlord is not obliged to show evidence to the tenant. Theres no reason why they shouldnt, but if they dont, a tenant can always check with the Council if theyre concerned.

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Thank you. The issue is, it is not currently listed on the council register however, I understand there can be some delay in processing of applications. The landlord says it has been applied for, but cannot/will not provide evidence and the enquiry to the council received an automated response saying they will respond to queries within 20 days! So just wondered what the legalities were and if there was an obligation to provide the information, seems odd to withhold it?

Why do you need to know quickly, rather than waiting 20 days? In the ‘olden’ days, you would have sent a letter & waited for a reply to arrive by post sometime later. Electroic instant communication has made us impatient.

You could call the licensing team, which might be quicker if this is about challenging a s21 notice. If you’re concern is about whether the landlord is doing things properly, then I wouldn’t place too much faith in the licence if I were you. Its usually just a paper exercise and the Council only inspect a handful to verify the information submitted.

Does it make a difference to you ?

Electronic instant communication appears to also have made us unnecessarily opinionated/rude!
Thank you for your very helpful reply. Believe it or not, I too lived in the olden days.
However, I do need to know sooner, hence the question. It is a peculiar situation, that is too long-winded to explain here.

Thank you. We did also try to call the licensing team but it simply goes to answerphone, so no joy there either. My son moved into a shared HMO and it has been a nightmare for a variety of reasons. There is also a tenant in situ who is a real problem and creating a disturbance. The letting agency did not disclose previous complaints about said tenant and don’t appear to have done anything about it. He is therefore trying to end the tenancy and move out ASAP. In the process of trying to sort this out, I stumbled across the HMO register and discovered the property wasn’t listed. The agency will only provide vague responses to enquiries about this and then threatened legal action, so I was trying to find out if they have in fact applied for a licence! Thank you for your help anyway.

If your Son’s tenancy is still within the first 3 months, he might have a case under consumer rights legislation to unwind the tenancy if he can show that the agent misled him about problems within the property.

Thank you. It is, yes. But they are insisting on a hefty early termination payment (although they have agreed to reduce it a little), as per the contract and my son is desperate to get out for the reasons stated above. Not sure of the legalities of it all and he doesn’t want to incur further charges. Any idea who I would contact to find out more details about that? Thank you so much for the helpful advice!

If your Son has a case under the Consumer Rights Act, then he would not only be able to unwind the tenancy at no cost, but also get all his money back if this is early enough in the tenancy. Have a look at the draft letter on the Shelter website about unwinding a tenancy.

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That is very helpful. Thank you David!