Private housing enforcement

Hull City Council's Private Housing Enforcement Policy 2018-22, assoicated Fees and Charges and Civil Penalties policies set out how we investigate and deal with poor housing conditions in the city.

The Private Housing Enforcement Policy 2018-22 was agreed by Hull City Council's Cabinet in April 2019 and upheld by the High Court in March 2019 following a subsequent legal challenge. The Council intended to implement the new policy on 16 September 2019.

The policy and supporting documents agreed by the Council's Cabinet can be found below-

We have subsequently been informed that this matter is to be considered further by the Court of Appeal. In light of these circumstances the Council will not implement the revised enforcement policy on 16 September 2019 until such time as these legal proceedings have reached finality.

The existing Hull Accredited Landlord Scheme (HALS) has now been affected during this time period and the Council is still accepting new landlord members. HALS is being reviewed and any changes to the scheme will be introduced during 2019-20 with further information to follow.

The Fees and Charges policy is currently being reviewed for 2019-20 which will also take into account another High Court decisions (Gaskin v. LB Richmond) in relation to the setting of mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license fees. Confirmation of any revision of the existing HMO license fees will be made available in due course.

Should you require any further information please email the below-

housing.standards@hullcc.gov.uk 

Why have the changes been made

As the existing policy (2012-16) had expired it was necessary to review the document and take account of recent changes in legislation. 

A ‘drop in’ event was held at the Guildhall on 21 February 2018 setting out the main proposed changes. The invitation was emailed to-

  • Humber Landlords Association (HLA)
  • National Landlords Association representative
  • Over 500 private landlords where the Private Housing (Environmental Health) service held an email address
  • Registered housing providers who are represented on the local Operational Group meeting with properties within the city
  • Ward Councilors
  • Tenants/residents groups

The invitation email advised that the new policy would be considered by the our Cabinet in April 2018 and provided a feedback form which could be used by interested parties’ to submit any feedback – this was requested by 16 March 2018

The feedback collated following the 'drop in event' can be found in the document below

 

 

Our Cabinet met on 23 April 2018 to discuss the report and proposed policy changes. Cabinet agreed that our Private Housing Enforcement Policy 2018-22 and associated Fees & Charges Policy 2018-19 should be approved with the proviso that the implementation date for the scheme be deferred pending the update of the current Accreditation scheme, subject to if the new scheme is not in place by the end of June implementation should proceed.

Access the minutes of the Cabinet meeting

What is changing

The table below details the main changes that have been proposed

Existing policy Proposed policy change Reason for change
Informal working with landlords in first instance unless imminent risk or landlord has history of non-compliance Removal of informal stage; service of statutory notice (some statutory notices i.e. Housing Act 2004 have a chargeable fee) Protection for tenants against being served notice by landlord; protection for six months where we serve statutory notice (Deregulation Act 2015 introduced)
Prosecution and/or works in default for consideration as action where non-compliance of a statutory notice Introduction of civil penalty charges as a further option –charges agreed within Yorkshire & Humber area 
Rent repayment orders – recovery of rent from landlord
Landlord database and Banning Orders
Ability to make civil penalty charges and rent repayment orders introduced by the Housing & Planning Act 2016 (also Landlord database and Banning Orders)
Mandatory HMO licensing – five or more persons sharing facilities, three storey properties only Mandatory HMO licensing – five or more persons sharing facilities, to remove requirement for property to be three storeys; setting of bedroom sizes
License fees to be reviewed
Government announcement December 2017 – changes effective 2018
Our Private Housing (Environmental Health) service does not currently charge for all services it provides to landlords e.g. copy of plans or other documentation Fees and charges policy to be introduced Clear guidelines as to what services will have a fee/charge from April 2018
Accreditation & Self-regulation scheme Discontinue current self- regulation scheme
Review and launch of Hull Accredited Landlords
Scheme – introduction of annual fee to landlords    Review of schemes – changes in 2018-19

 

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