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Housing Bill


Housing Bill
Part 2 — Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

41

 

(4)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it is a

defence that, at the material time—

(a)   

a notification had been duly given in respect of the house under section

51(1), or

(b)   

an application for a licence had been duly made in respect of the house

5

under section 52,

   

and that notification or application was still effective (see subsection (8)).

(5)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3) it

is a defence that he had a reasonable excuse—

(a)   

for having control of or managing the house in the circumstances

10

mentioned in subsection (1), or

(b)   

for permitting the person to occupy the house, or

(c)   

for failing to comply with the condition,

   

as the case may be.

(6)   

A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable on

15

summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000.

(7)   

A person who commits an offence under subsection (3) is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(8)   

For the purposes of subsection (4) a notification or application is “effective” at

a particular time if at that time it has not been withdrawn, and either—

20

(a)   

the authority have not decided whether to serve a temporary

exemption notice, or (as the case may be) grant a licence, in pursuance

of the notification or application, or

(b)   

if they have decided not to do so, it is still possible for the person

concerned to have that decision reversed on an appeal to a county court

25

or to the Court of Appeal.

62      

Further sanctions relating to unlicensed HMOs

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies to any period during which an offence is being

committed under section 61(1) in respect of an HMO that is required to be

licensed under this Part but is not so licensed.

30

(2)   

In respect of any such period—

(a)   

no rent or licence fee that would (apart from this section) be payable by

a person who occupies the house under a tenancy or licence is to be so

payable, and

(b)   

no other compensation that would (apart from this section) be payable

35

for use or occupation of the house is to be so payable.

(3)   

Where any amount within subsection (2) is paid despite not being payable, the

amount is recoverable by the person by whom it is paid.

(4)   

Except to the extent provided by subsection (2), nothing in this Part affects the

validity of any tenancy or licence under which a person occupies an HMO

40

during a period to which that subsection applies.

(5)   

Subsection (2) does not affect the operation of any statutory provision relating

to the protection of occupiers of premises that operates by reference to the

amount of rent or other sums payable by them.

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 2 — Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

42

 

Supplementary provisions

63      

Transitional arrangements relating to introduction and termination of

licensing

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies where—

(a)   

an order under section 44(3) which prescribes a particular description

5

of HMOs comes into force; or

(b)   

a designation under section 45 comes into force in relation to HMOs of

a particular description.

(2)   

This Part applies in relation to the occupation by persons or households of such

HMOs on or after the coming into force of the order or designation even if their

10

occupation began before, or in pursuance of a contract made before, it came

into force.

This is subject to subsections (3) to (5).

(3)   

Subsection (4) applies where—

(a)   

an HMO which is licensed under this Part, or a part of such an HMO,

15

is occupied by more households or persons than the number permitted

by the licence; and

(b)   

the occupation of all or any of those households or persons began

before, or in pursuance of a contract made before, the licence came into

force.

20

(4)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under section 61(2) it is a defence

that at the material time he was taking all reasonable steps to try to reduce the

number of households or persons occupying the house to the number

permitted by the licence.

(5)   

Subsection (4) does not apply if the licence came into force immediately after a

25

previous licence in respect of the same HMO unless the occupation in question

began before, or in pursuance of a contract made before, the coming into force

of the original licence.

(6)   

An order under section 204 may make provision as regards the licensing under

this Part of HMOs—

30

(a)   

which are registered immediately before the appointed day under a

scheme to which section 347 (schemes containing control provisions) or

348B (schemes containing special control provisions) of the Housing

Act 1985 (c. 68) applies, or

(b)   

in respect of which applications for registration under such a scheme

35

are then pending.

(7)   

In subsection (6) “the appointed day” means the day appointed for the coming

into force of section 50.

64      

Meaning of “HMO”

In this Part—

40

(a)   

“HMO” means a house in multiple occupation as defined by sections

191 to 195, and

(b)   

references to an HMO include (where the context permits) any yard,

garden, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to, or usually enjoyed

with, it (or any part of it).

45

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

43

 

65      

Index of defined expressions: Part 2

The following table shows where expressions used in this Part are defined or

otherwise explained.

 

Expression

Provision of this Act

 
 

Appropriate national authority

Section 196(1)

 

5

 

Category 1 hazard

Section 2(1)

 
 

Category 2 hazard

Section 2(1)

 
 

District of local housing authority

Section 196(6)

 
 

HMO

Section 64

 
 

HMO to which this Part applies

Section 44(2)

 

10

 

Licence and licence holder

Section 50(6)

 
 

Licence (to occupy premises)

Section 197(9)

 
 

Local housing authority

Section 196(2) to (5)

 
 

Occupier (and related expressions)

Section 197(6)

 
 

Person having control

Section 198(1) and (2)

 

15

  

(and see also section

 
  

55(7))

 
 

Person having estate or interest

Section 197(8)

 
 

Person managing

Section 198(3)

 
 

Person involved in management

Section 198(5)

 

20

 

Tenant

Section 197(1) to (5)

 

Part 3

Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

Introductory

66      

Licensing of houses to which this Part applies

25

(1)   

This Part provides for houses to be licensed by local housing authorities

where—

(a)   

they are houses to which this Part applies (see subsection (2)), and

(b)   

they are required to be licensed under this Part (see section 72(1)).

(2)   

This Part applies to a house if—

30

(a)   

it is in an area that is for the time being designated under section 67 as

subject to selective licensing, and

(b)   

the whole of it is occupied either—

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

44

 

(i)   

under a single tenancy or licence that is not an exempt tenancy

or licence under subsection (3) or (4), or

(ii)   

under two or more tenancies or licences in respect of different

dwellings contained in it, none of which is an exempt tenancy

or licence under subsection (3) or (4).

5

(3)   

A tenancy or licence is an exempt tenancy or licence if it is granted by a body

which is registered as a social landlord under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1996

(c. 52).

(4)   

In addition, the appropriate national authority may by order provide for

descriptions of tenancies or licences specified in the order to be exempt

10

tenancies or licences.

(5)   

Every local housing authority have the following general duties—

(a)   

to make such arrangements as are necessary to secure the effective

implementation in their district of the licensing regime provided for by

this Part; and

15

(b)   

to ensure that all applications for licences and other issues falling to be

determined by them under this Part are determined within a

reasonable time.

Designation of selective licensing areas

67      

Designation of selective licensing areas

20

(1)   

A local housing authority may designate either—

(a)   

the area of their district, or

(b)   

an area in their district,

   

as subject to selective licensing, if the requirements of subsections (2) and (9)

are met.

25

(2)   

The authority must consider that—

(a)   

the first or second set of general conditions mentioned in subsection (3)

or (6), or

(b)   

any conditions specified in an order under subsection (7) as an

additional set of conditions,

30

   

are satisfied in relation to the area.

(3)   

The first set of general conditions are—

(a)   

that the area is, or is likely to become, an area of low housing demand;

and

(b)   

that making a designation will, when combined with other measures

35

taken in the area by the local housing authority, or by other persons

together with the local housing authority, contribute to the

improvement of the social or economic conditions in the area.

(4)   

In deciding whether an area is, or is likely to become, an area of low housing

demand a local housing authority must take into account (among other

40

matters)—

(a)   

the value of residential premises in the area, in comparison to the value

of similar premises in other areas which the authority consider to be

comparable (whether in terms of types of housing, local amenities,

availability of transport or otherwise);

45

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

45

 

(b)   

the turnover of occupiers of residential premises;

(c)   

the number of residential premises which are available to buy or rent

and the length of time for which they remain unoccupied.

(5)   

The appropriate national authority may by order amend subsection (4) by

adding new matters to those for the time being mentioned in that subsection.

5

(6)   

The second set of general conditions are—

(a)   

that the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem

caused by anti-social behaviour;

(b)   

that some or all of the private sector landlords who have let premises in

the area (whether under leases or licences) are failing to take action to

10

combat the problem that it would be appropriate for them to take; and

(c)   

that making a designation will, when combined with other measures

taken in the area by the local housing authority, or by other persons

together with the local housing authority, lead to a reduction in, or the

elimination of, the problem.

15

   

“Private sector landlord” does not include a registered social landlord within

the meaning of Part 1 of the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52).

(7)   

The appropriate national authority may by order provide for any conditions

specified in the order to apply as an additional set of conditions for the

purposes of subsection (2).

20

(8)   

The conditions that may be specified include, in particular, conditions

intended to permit a local housing authority to make a designation for the

purpose of dealing with one or more specified problems affecting persons

occupying Part 3 houses in the area.

“Specified” means specified in an order under subsection (7).

25

(9)   

Before making a designation the local housing authority must—

(a)   

take reasonable steps to consult persons who are likely to be affected by

the designation; and

(b)   

consider any representations made in accordance with the consultation

and not withdrawn.

30

(10)   

Section 68 applies for the purposes of this section.

68      

Designations under section 67: further considerations

(1)   

This section applies to the power of a local housing authority to make

designations under section 67.

(2)   

The authority must ensure that any exercise of the power is consistent with the

35

authority’s overall housing strategy.

(3)   

The authority must also seek to adopt a co-ordinated approach in connection

with dealing with homelessness, empty properties and anti-social behaviour,

both—

(a)   

as regards combining licensing under this Part with other courses of

40

action available to them, and

(b)   

as regards combining such licensing with measures taken by other

persons.

(4)   

The authority must not make a particular designation under section 67

unless—

45

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

46

 

(a)   

they have considered whether there are any other courses of action

available to them (of whatever nature) that might provide an effective

method of achieving the objective or objectives that the designation

would be intended to achieve, and

(b)   

they consider that making the designation will significantly assist them

5

to achieve the objective or objectives (whether or not they take any

other course of action as well).

69      

Designation needs confirmation or general approval to be effective

(1)   

A designation of an area as subject to selective licensing cannot come into force

unless—

10

(a)   

it has been confirmed by the appropriate national authority; or

(b)   

it falls within a description of designations in relation to which that

authority has given a general approval in accordance with subsection

(6).

(2)   

The appropriate national authority may either confirm, or refuse to confirm, a

15

designation as it considers appropriate.

(3)   

If the appropriate national authority confirms a designation, the designation

comes into force on a date specified for this purpose by that authority.

(4)   

That date must be no earlier than three months after the date on which the

designation is confirmed.

20

(5)   

A general approval may be given in relation to a description of designations

framed by reference to any matters or circumstances.

(6)   

Accordingly a general approval may (in particular) be given in relation to—

(a)   

designations made by a specified local housing authority;

(b)   

designations made by a local housing authority falling within a

25

specified description of such authorities;

(c)   

designations relating to Part 3 houses of a specified description.

“Specified” means specified by the appropriate national authority in the

approval.

(7)   

If, by virtue of a general approval, a designation does not need to be confirmed

30

before it comes into force, the designation comes into force on the date

specified for this purpose in the designation.

(8)   

That date must be no earlier than three months after the date on which the

designation is made.

(9)   

Where a designation comes into force, this Part applies in relation to the

35

occupation by persons of houses in the area on or after the coming into force of

the designation even if their occupation began before, or in pursuance of a

contract made before, it came into force.

70      

Notification requirements relating to designations

(1)   

This section applies to a designation—

40

(a)   

when it is confirmed under section 69, or

(b)   

(if it is not required to be so confirmed) when it is made by the local

housing authority.

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

47

 

(2)   

As soon as the designation is confirmed or made, the authority must publish in

the prescribed manner a notice stating—

(a)   

that the designation has been made,

(b)   

whether or not the designation was required to be confirmed and either

that it has been confirmed or that a general approval under section 69

5

applied to it (giving details of the approval in question),

(c)   

the date on which the designation is to come into force, and

(d)   

any other information which may be prescribed.

(3)   

After publication of a notice under subsection (1), and for as long as the

designation is in force, the local housing authority must make available to the

10

public in accordance with any prescribed requirements—

(a)   

copies of the designation, and

(b)   

such information relating to the designation as is prescribed.

(4)   

In this section “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the

appropriate national authority.

15

71      

Duration, review and revocation of designations

(1)   

Unless previously revoked under subsection (4), a designation ceases to have

effect at the time that is specified for this purpose in the designation.

(2)   

That time must be no later than five years after the date on which the

designation comes into force.

20

(3)   

A local housing authority must from time to time review the operation of any

designation made by them.

(4)   

If following a review they consider it appropriate to do so, the authority may

revoke the designation.

(5)   

If they do revoke the designation, the designation ceases to have effect on the

25

date that is specified by the authority for this purpose.

(6)   

On revoking a designation, the authority must publish notice of the revocation

in such manner as is prescribed by regulations made by the appropriate

national authority.

Houses required to be licensed

30

72      

Requirement for Part 3 houses to be licensed

(1)   

Every Part 3 house must be licensed under this Part unless—

(a)   

a licence is in force under Part 2 in respect of it or a temporary

exemption notice is in force in relation to it under section 51, or

(b)   

a temporary exemption notice is in force in relation to it under section

35

73, or

(c)   

an interim or final management order is in force in relation to it under

Part 4.

(2)   

A licence under this Part is a licence authorising occupation of the house

concerned under one or more tenancies or licences within section 66(2)(b).

40

(3)   

Sections 74 to 77 deal with applications for licences, the granting or refusal of

licences and the imposition of licence conditions.

 

 

 
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Revised 8 December 2003