We are seeking views on whether additional licensing should cover the entire district or be restricted, for example to only apply to Leamington Spa where the majority of HMOs are located.
The Feasibility Study suggests that there are certain advantages of covering the entire district. For example, it creates a level playing field and does not encourage unscrupulous landlords to set up outside the boundaries of a specific area.
Types of HMO
Unless otherwise exempted by Housing Act 2004 or Regulations made thereunder, we would propose to include within the scheme:-
- any house which is an HMO occupied by 3 or 4 persons
- any flat created by conversion which is an HMO which is occupied by 3 or 4 persons
- any building which contains both self-contained flats and non-self-contained flats where there are a total of 3 or 4 persons living as 2 or more households in the building
- any purpose built flat in multiple occupation which is occupied by 3 or more persons where the flat is contained within a purpose- built block of flats
Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)
We are seeking views on whether flats within Purpose Built Student Accommodation blocks (PBSA) should be excluded from the additional licensing scheme. Typically, PBSA are large blocks which are designed to meet modern day safety standards and tend not to give rise to complaints. A flat within PBSA may typically contain up to 7 or 8 ensuite bedrooms (although some flats have fewer bedrooms) with shared open plan living/dining/kitchens. Larger PBSA blocks can have onsite staff and maintenance contracts.
We are mindful that some developments can include both purpose-built and converted accommodation for students. We will consider views on licensing all HMO flats within developments which contain a mix of purpose built and converted accommodation.
Campus accommodation at both Warwick University and Warwickshire College has specific exemption from being classified as HMO and is out of scope for additional licensing.
Section 257 HMOs
Buildings which are classed as Section 257 HMOs are not being considered for inclusion within the scheme as we do not hold sufficient data on them, and they are not known to pose particular problems. These are buildings which are fully converted into self-contained flats where less than two-thirds are owner-occupied and the conversion does not comply with the 1991 (or subsequent) Building Regulations. Many of these buildings are known to have been converted in the 1970s and 1980s.
Houses and flats with resident landlords (and their families) who have up to 2 lodgers and sharing a kitchen or bathroom would not be included within Additional Licensing as they are specifically exempted.