Houses in Multiple Occupation

HMO Rent Repayment Orders

It is a criminal offence for a landlord to manage or control a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence under Housing Act 2004.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 allows the council and tenants to apply for an Rent Repayment Order (RRO). This is an order which can be made by the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT). 

The council can reclaim up to 12 months of housing benefit/universal credit. Former tenants and tenants can reclaim up to 12 months of rent if they can prove the landlord has been convicted in magistrates court or committed an offence outlined below:

  • Your landlord has rented a HMO without a licence
  • You have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord
  • Your landlord has used violence to secure entry to a property
  • Your landlord has failed to comply with enforcement action:
    • Improvement notice
    • Prohibition notice
    • Civil penalty notice
    • Banning order
The council can apply for an RRO to claim housing benefits/universal credit which has been paid to the landlord during the period the property was unlicensed. The landlord does not have to be charged or convicted of an offence but the council will need to prove the property was a HMO and operating without a licence. The council are required to serve a notice of intended proceedings and give the landlord at least 28 days to make representations before an application to the FTT can be made for an RRO.

Further information can be found in the tenants guide below

Download: Tenants guide: Rent repayment orders (PDF)

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