Houses in Multiple Occupation - Policy for assessing fit and proper persons
How will the council decide if I am fit and proper
Each licensing application must be accompanied by a basic disclosure certificate from the Disclosure Barring Service (or equivalent) for each licence holder and all persons involved in the management of the licensable property.
A basic disclosure allows the council to confirm whether a licence applicant has a current criminal conviction or not. The information is taken directly from the Police National Computer and printed on an official disclosure certificate from the Disclosure Barring Service.
The licence holder and manager (if different), and any other person involved in the management of the HMO must also sign the official declaration on the HMO licensing application form.
The council may consult with other councils and with council departments and may use any information contained within the database of rogue landlords and property agents under chapter 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The council will consider a person to be “fit and proper” if satisfied that they:
- have not committed an offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, or violence of drugs, or any offence listed under schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (section 66(2)(a)of the Housing Act 2004)
- have not practised unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or disability in or in connection with the carrying on of any business (section 66(2)(b) of the Housing Act 2004)
- have not contravened any provision of the law relating to housing or landlord and tenant law (section 66(2)(c) of the Housing Act 2004)
- have not acted otherwise than in accordance with a code of practice under section 233 of the act (regarding management of HMOs) (section 66(2)(d) of the Housing Act 2004)
- are not subject to a banning order under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
In addition to the above, the council will consider any contravention of legislation relevant to housing. This may include where the council has served a statutory notice, carried out works in default of a notice, taken a prosecution or issued a civil penalty. The nature of the contravention and its relevance to the management of an HMO and the potential harm associated with the contravention will be taken into consideration.
In relation to any contravention of a provision of the law relating to housing, the council will take into account whether a proposed licence holder or manager:
- has had a licence revoked or refused, or been convicted of breaching the conditions of a licence under parts 2 or 3 of the Housing Act 2004
- owns or manages, or has owned or managed an HMO or house which has been the subject of a control order under section 379 of the Housing Act 1985 in the five years preceding the date of the application; or any appropriate enforcement actions described in section 5(2) of the Housing Act 2004 (in relation to category 1 hazards)
- owns or has previously owned a property that has been the subject of an interim or final management order whilst in their ownership, or a special interim management order under the Housing Act 2004
- is subject to a banning order under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
- owns or has previously owned a property for which the council has taken action as described in section 5(2) of the Housing Act 2004, which includes the service of an Improvement Notice, Prohibition Order, Emergency Prohibition Order, Hazard Awareness Notice, Demolition Order or Emergency Remedial Action
Each case will be decided on its own merits, taking into consideration the circumstances surrounding the contravention, where there has been more than one contravention, repeating nature of contraventions and of any evidence demonstrating good character since the contravention(s).