Landlord Newsletter – Issue March 2020

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Coventry Landlord

Landlord Newsletter – Issue March 2020

In this issue we will be focusing on the situation relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak and how this affects certain services the Housing Enforcement and Property Licensing Teams provide.

Additional Licensing

From 4 May 2020, an Additional Licensing Designation will come into effect across the city, requiring HMOs with fewer than five persons to be licensed.  

A number of concerns have been raised about the Additional Licensing scheme being implemented on 4 May 2020 due to the issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Council has considered the issues and decided that it will continue with the implementation of the scheme but will be easing various measures to reduce the impact on landlords and agents. These are set out below.

These measures will be reviewed during this period of uncertainty and amended as appropriate.

When does it start?

The Additional Licensing designation will come into effect on 4 May 2020. If you are a landlord or managing agent operating a HMO property within Coventry, and do not already hold a mandatory HMO licence, you will need to apply for an additional licence from 4 May 2020. 

Under normal circumstances it is an offence under Section 72 of the Housing Act 2004, if a person having control of, or managing a HMO operates a licensable HMO which is required to be licensed under the Additional or Mandatory Licensing Scheme, but which is not so licensed. Given the current situation with COVID-19 the Council is taking a pragmatic approach to the enforcement of this requirement.

Do I need to apply for an Additional Licence?

You need an additional HMO licence if:

  • if you operate a house in multiple occupation that is shared by three to four tenants living in two or more households or
  • if you operate a house which was converted into self-contained flats without complying with the appropriate building standards (converted after 1990).

Read the legislation which covers houses converted solely into self-contained flats ('Section 257 HMOs).

When should I apply?

The online application service is now set up and the Council will be accepting HMO applications from 6 April 2020.

To submit an application for Additional Licence, please proceed to the Licensing Process tab.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions the Council is not able to accept paper applications.

How long will my licence last for?

Your licence can be issued for up to 5 years. Licences will be issued right up until the end of the scheme and in some cases may run beyond the life of the scheme.

What if my certificates are out of date?

The Council will accept out of date certificates for the purposes of assessing your licence application. Please note that this does not exempt you from other enforcement action i.e. HSE not having a valid gas certificate.

The Council will keep this exemption in place during the COVID-19 outbreak and will require you to send in new, up to date certificates within 3 months of the restrictions relating to COVID-19 and social distancing are lifted.

How much is a licence?

The fees and charges will remain fixed for the period of 2020/2021 and are set out in the table below.


New Fee Structure

Will an inspection of the HMO be necessary?

During the current situation regarding COVID-19 the Council will not be carrying out any inspections of properties.

Once you have made an application the Council will assess whether it is valid or not. If it is valid then the Council will send you an email advising that you have “tacit approval” and as such can operate the property as a HMO lawfully.

If you have not made a valid application the Council will contact you to advise what you need to do to make it valid.

Once the restrictions relating to COVID-19 are lifted then the Council will arrange to inspect all HMOs where an application is valid and those with tacit approval will be issued with a licence with relevant conditions.

What length of licence will I receive?

Once the Council receives a valid application the application is assessed against criteria to determine which length of licence is appropriate.

In the case of a five-year licence you or your agent will need to have applied for accreditation and provided all the relevant supporting documents prior to completing the training element.

The Landlord Accreditation Training will be provided online and the Council will contact those people that have already registered with further details of how this will be delivered.

If you are not able to complete the online training, then you will need to attend one of the landlord accreditation training sessions that the Council runs at its offices in Coventry. All sessions are currently cancelled until further notice due to COVID-19. Future sessions will be arranged once the social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

If you are not able to meet all the relevant criteria for a Five-Year licence then another licence will be issued at 1 or 2 year lengths.

Further details can be found at Length of licence

Contact us

We want to work with you to improve housing in the city. If you want to get in touch with any questions please, contact the team:


Telephone: 024 7697 5467