Homes in Multiple Occupation Regulations
Nottingham criminal solicitor and regulatory lawyer Martin Hadley represented a landlord client. He had been visited by local council Enforcement Officers. They were inspecting homes in multiple occupation to ensure that landlords were abiding by the duties imposed upon them by Section 234 of the Housing Act 2004.
The Management Regulations under this Act are designed to ensure that tenants are provided with safe, good quality housing. The regulations place a heavy burden upon landlords.
Homes in Multiple Occupation
A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’. You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO . Further information can be found here.
The client’s premises were visited whilst he was undertaking renovation works.
Unfortunately, however, he had failed to maintain:-
- statutory notices
- fire alarms
- common parts in a safe condition
- hand rails, or
- boundary fences.
Interview Under Caution
The Council officers interviewed Martin’s client under caution and with a recording being made. Sensibly, our client chose to instruct Martin prior to the interview and he was present to give advice and assistance throughout the interview process.
Martin’s client did not dispute the allegations. Martin made representations to the council that this was a case that could be dealt with by way of a caution. Such a warning would be taken into account if there were further allegations in the future and a prosecuting authority had to decide whether to bring court proceedings.
The client was understandably happy with the outcome of the investigation. Martin’s approach identified that although the matter was admitted there was an alternative to prosecution and secured the appropriate outcome.
Our client avoided what could have been an expensive day at court as it was likely that he would have had to pay a fine and the local authorities costs for investigating and prosecuting the matter. In addition he would have received a criminal record.
Contact Martin Hadley
If you receive notice that you are under investigation by the local authority as a landlord with homes in multiple occupation, or for one of the range of offences that you can be prosecuted for then please contact Martin on 0115 9599550 or email him here.