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Nottingham City Council, who have been heavily crticised by our own Mick Roberts and Property118 members for their selective licensing scheme, are now under fire for wasting £95,000 of tax payers money on a failed Supreme Court appeal case.
The Council lost both cases against a landlord who was taken to court over the size of two student HMO bedrooms built into attics with a sloping roof.
One attic room has a total floor area of 9.75 square metres, but only 5.89 square metres has a floor to ceiling height of 1.53 metres or more. The other room has a floor area of approximately 11 square metres with only 6.89 square metres having a floor to ceiling height of 1.53 metres or more.
Councillor Linda Woodings, said:
“We believe as a matter of principle and fairness that there should be a minimum acceptable bedroom size that applies to everyone.
“We were therefore disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling because in effect, it means one group of people are being forced to accept a lower standard of accommodation than others. There is a real concern that this could be the thin end of the wedge and that the same interpretation could be applied to other minimum standards for HMOs such as the number and size of bathroom or kitchen facilities.
“The Supreme Court ruling is based on the law as it stands, but the Government supported the council’s appeal so we hope it will seriously consider revising the existing legislation to end this unfair anomaly.
“We felt strongly that there was a significant issue of unfairness at stake, which meant that tenants living in shared accommodation were at risk of suffering poorer quality housing than someone living in exactly the same house but on a separate tenancy.
“We aim to achieve quality housing for all, not just some, which is why we were prepared to take this case through the courts and had support from Government on our position, so it’s disappointing the Supreme Court ruled as it did.”
From 1 October 2018 the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government has published regulations confirming that HMOs licensed in England under part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 will be required to have a floor area no-smaller than 6.51 square metres.
Please see >> http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111167359/regulation/2
“Additional conditions to be included in licences under Part 2: floor area etc
1A.—(1) Where the HMO is in England, a licence under Part 2 must include the following conditions.
(2) Conditions requiring the licence holder—
(a)to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
(b)to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
(c)to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres;
(d)to ensure that any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres is not used as sleeping accommodation.”
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