Housing: Students

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 3rd April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Flight Lord Flight Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to providers of purpose-built student accommodation of being required to pay for house in multiple occupation licences.

Photo of Lord Flight Lord Flight Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the codes for student accommodation in protecting tenants and maintaining property and management standards.

Photo of Lord Flight Lord Flight Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government why purpose-built student accommodation provided by universities is exempt from house in multiple occupation licensing while similar accommodation provided by private companies is not.

Photo of Lord Flight Lord Flight Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to remove the requirement for private providers of purpose-built student accommodation who are part of an approved national code to be subject to house in multiple occupation licensing.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government consulted on the effectiveness of the code in assuring acceptable management practices and standards as part of our consultation on extending mandatory licensing of HMOs. We acknowledged as part of our response, that a significant number of consultees were satisfied with the code as being a means of ensuring acceptable management practices and standards in student accommodation. However, membership of a code alone does not guarantee that the student accommodation meets local standards set by a local authority and therefore should not necessarily provide an exemption from HMO licensing.

Educational establishments have a duty of care defined by statutory obligations, for example through the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, that they must fulfil, both in the provision of education and accommodation to its students. They are also subject to regulation by an independent regulator, the Office for Students. However, private companies are not subject to the same levels of regulation and therefore should not be exempted from House in Multiple Occupation licensing.

Therefore, the Government does not have plans to remove requirements for private providers of purpose-built student accommodation who are part of an approved national code to be subject to houses in multiple occupation licensing.

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