Joint report by Public Protection Manager and Graduate Environmental Health Officer (attached).
The Committee considered the Houses in Multiple Occupation: Amenity Standards, Minimum Room Sizing and Licence Conditions report (circulated previously) by the Public Protection Manager and Graduate Environmental Health Practitioner.
The Public Protection Manager introduced a new colleague Tanisha Rowswell, Graduate (Trainee) Environmental Health Practitioner.
The Committee received a joint presentation relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation from the Public Protection Manager and the Graduate (Trainee) Environmental Health Practitioner. The following summary was heard:
· The definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) was given in the Housing Act 2004
· Mandatory licensing rules were brought in under the Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018. This gave the requirement for a licence to be obtained for all properties with five or more occupants from two or more separate households, who shared a bathroom, toilet or kitchen
· North Devon currently had 43 licensed HMO’s with an additional 250 now falling under the new regime
· Of the five prescribed standards it was hoped to implement locally adopted standards
· Heating; introduction of fixed heating sources with occupier controlled heating to a minimum of 21 degrees when the temperature outside was below zero
· Personal washing facilities; to ensure a bathroom was not more than two storeys away from a bedroom
· Kitchen facilities; depending on whether the accommodation was a bedsit or shared house there were different standards such as the number of appliances and storage units available
· Waste disposal; the licence holder would be required to provide appropriate external and internal waste storage facilities
· Due to the volume of applications for licences and the resource implications in processing these the licence period renewal would remain at five years
· With authorisation from the Committee a six week consultation period would be carried out seeking stakeholders views on the proposals
· The analysed results would be presented at the July 2021 meeting
The Committee noted the proposed changes to Amenity standards and Room Sizing requirements, the proposed licensing standards and the period of renewal for a licence
RESOLVED that the Graduate Environmental Health Officer carry out a six week consultation on the proposed revisions to amenity standards, minimum room size requirements and licence conditions.