Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Public Protection Manager and Graduate Environmental Health Officer/Residential Licensing Officer (circulated previously) regarding proposed amendment to the Council’s Amenity Standards, Minimum Room Sizing and Management Standards.
The Public Protection Manager outlined the following:
· The current Amenity Standards did not include the position surrounding the sharing of bedrooms in licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The Legislation was silent in terms of room sharing, albeit that a Room Standard and a Space Standard were provided for in the Housing Act 1985. The Room Standard and Space Standard were criteria used to ascertain whether a property was statutory over-crowded. As such, an amendment to the locally adopted standards under the section ‘Mandatory requirements in HMOs – Space standards’ was proposed.
· The first area was in terms of the prescribed standards under the section ‘Personal washing facilities and WCs’, which required an amendment in line with The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 (‘The 2007 Regulations’).
· The second area was in terms of the ‘Facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food (shared facilities).’ A query arose with regard to the numbers of sinks and dishwashers, whereby it was not practical to install the set number of sinks and instead there was a desire to utilise a dishwasher as an alternative. It was proposed to amend the Amenity Standards to provide a proportionate response to the query raised.
· The third area was in terms of the ‘Facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food (individual use facilities)’, which required an amendment in line with The 2007 Regulations.
· Various other small amendments have also been made to the Amenity Standards document, as per the tracked changes in Appendix A of the report.
The Graduate Environmental Health Officer/Residential Licensing Officer outlined the following:
· The proposed amendments made in relation to personal washing facilities and WCs; Facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food (shared facilities); Facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food (individual use facilities); and Mandatory requirements in HMOs – Space standards.
In response to questions, the Graduate Environmental Health Officer/Residential Licensing Officer advised the following:
· Facilities to be provided in each HMO was dealt with on a case by case basis.
· The definition of a complete bathroom within the standards included a fixed shower/bath and WC. The provision of a WC could also be classed as another complete bathroom. The wording could be made more explicit in the policy.
In response to questions, the Public Protection Manager advised the following:
· There were some instances where there was no space for the storage of refuse receptacles outside of a property. The appropriateness of the storage of refuse could be considered by the Council’s Environmental Wardens.
RESOLVED that a public consultation on the proposed draft revised Amenity Standards, Minimum Room Sizing and Management Standards Document (Amenity Standards) found within Appendix A be approved, and that consultation responses be reported to a future committee prior to making any approval.
Publication date: 25/05/2022
Date of decision: 09/05/2022
Decided at meeting: 09/05/2022 - Strategy and Resources Committee