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The operation of a mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing scheme is a statutory duty of the Council in accordance with the Housing Act 2004. There is no requirement within the Act to produce a licensing policy, but it is recognised nationally as good practice to do so ensuring clarity of understanding for both applicants and officers alike in relation to process and expectation of standards and to ensure efficient and effective decision making. The Authority's HMO Licensing Policy was written and approved by Full Council on 5 April 2017 (Min 2361). The policy, which is reviewed on a five yearly basis, sets out which HMO?s need a licence, how the scheme works, penalties for not applying for a licence and what happens if licence conditions are breached.