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Housing Bill


Housing Bill
Part 2 — Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

48

 

Procedure and appeals

70      

Procedural requirements and appeals against licence decisions

Schedule 5 (which deals with procedural requirements relating to the grant,

refusal, variation or revocation of licences and with appeals against licence

decisions) has effect for the purposes of this Part.

5

Enforcement

71      

Offences in relation to licensing of HMOs

(1)   

A person commits an offence if he is a person having control of or managing

an HMO which is required to be licensed under this Part (see section 60(1)) but

is not so licensed.

10

(2)   

A person commits an offence if—

(a)   

he is a person having control of or managing an HMO which is licensed

under this Part,

(b)   

he permits another person to occupy the house, and

(c)   

the other person’s occupation results in the house being occupied by

15

more households or persons than is authorised by the licence.

(3)   

A person commits an offence if—

(a)   

he is a licence holder or a person on whom restrictions or obligations

under a licence are imposed in accordance with section 66(5), and

(b)   

he fails to comply with any condition of the licence.

20

(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

61(1), or

(b)   

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

25

under section 62,

   

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

30

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

35

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—

40

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 2 — Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

49

 

(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, one of the conditions set out in

subsection (9) is met.

5

(9)   

The conditions are—

(a)   

that the period for appealing against the decision of the authority not to

serve or grant such a notice or licence (or against any relevant decision

of a residential property tribunal) has not expired, or

(b)   

that an appeal has been brought against the authority’s decision (or

10

against any relevant decision of such a tribunal) and the appeal has not

been determined or withdrawn.

(10)   

In subsection (9) “relevant decision” means a decision which is given on an

appeal to the tribunal and confirms the authority’s decision (with or without

variation).

15

72      

Further sanctions relating to unlicensed HMOs

(1)   

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

committed under section 71(1) in respect of an HMO that is required to be

licensed under this Part but is not so licensed.

(2)   

In respect of any such period—

20

(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

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

25

(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

during a period to which that subsection applies.

30

(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.

Supplementary provisions

73      

Transitional arrangements relating to introduction and termination of

35

licensing

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies where—

(a)   

an order under section 54(3) which prescribes a particular description

of HMOs comes into force; or

(b)   

a designation under section 55 comes into force in relation to HMOs of

40

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

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 2 — Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

50

 

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,

5

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.

10

(4)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under section 71(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

15

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 231 may make provision as regards the licensing under

this Part of HMOs—

20

(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

25

are then pending.

(7)   

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

into force of section 60.

74      

Meaning of “HMO”

In this Part—

30

(a)   

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

217 to 222, 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).

35

75      

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

 
 

Anti-social behaviour

Section 56(5)

 

40

 

Appropriate national authority

Section 223(1)

 
 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

51

 
 

Expression

Provision of this Act

 
 

Category 1 hazard

Section 2(1)

 
 

Category 2 hazard

Section 2(1)

 
 

District of local housing authority

Section 223(6)

 
 

HMO

Section 74

 

5

 

HMO to which this Part applies

Section 54(2)

 
 

Licence and licence holder

Section 60(6)

 
 

Licence (to occupy premises)

Section 224(9)

 
 

Local housing authority

Section 223(2) to (5)

 
 

Modifications

Section 213(7)

 

10

 

Occupier (and related expressions)

Section 224(6)

 
 

Person having control

Section 225(1) and (2)

 
  

(and see also section

 
  

65(7))

 
 

Person having estate or interest

Section 224(8)

 

15

 

Person managing

Section 225(3)

 
 

Person involved in management

Section 225(5)

 
 

Residential property tribunal

Section 194

 
 

Tenant

Section 224(1) to (5).

 
 

Part 3

20

Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

Introductory

76      

Licensing of houses to which this Part applies

(1)   

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

where—

25

(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 82(1)).

(2)   

This Part applies to a house if—

(a)   

it is in an area that is for the time being designated under section 77 as

subject to selective licensing, and

30

(b)   

the whole of it is occupied either—

(i)   

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

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

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

52

 

(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).

(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

5

(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

tenancies or licences.

(5)   

Every local housing authority have the following general duties—

10

(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

(b)   

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

determined by them under this Part are determined within a

15

reasonable time.

Designation of selective licensing areas

77      

Designation of selective licensing areas

(1)   

A local housing authority may designate either—

(a)   

the area of their district, or

20

(b)   

an area in their district,

   

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

are met.

(2)   

The authority must consider that—

(a)   

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

25

or (6), or

(b)   

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

additional set of conditions,

   

are satisfied in relation to the area.

(3)   

The first set of general conditions are—

30

(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

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

together with the local housing authority, contribute to the

35

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

matters)—

(a)   

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

40

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);

(b)   

the turnover of occupiers of residential premises;

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

53

 

(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.

(6)   

The second set of general conditions are—

5

(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

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

10

(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.

   

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

15

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).

(8)   

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

20

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).

(9)   

Before making a designation the local housing authority must—

25

(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.

(10)   

Section 78 applies for the purposes of this section.

30

78      

Designations under section 77: further considerations

(1)   

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

designations under section 77.

(2)   

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

authority’s overall housing strategy.

35

(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

action available to them, and

40

(b)   

as regards combining such licensing with measures taken by other

persons.

(4)   

The authority must not make a particular designation under section 77

unless—

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 3 — Selective licensing of other residential accommodation

54

 

(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).

79      

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.

80      

Notification requirements relating to designations

(1)   

This section applies to a designation—

40

(a)   

when it is confirmed under section 79, or

(b)   

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

housing authority.

 

 

 
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