Multiple Occupation: Licensing

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 31 May 2023.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Shadow Paymaster General

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment the Government has made of the impact of HMO licensing requirements on compliance with (a) fire, (b) carbon monoxide and (c) gas safety requirements in homes in which asylum seekers are tenants; and if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of those licensing requirements on such tenants' (i) wellbeing, (ii) physical health and (iii) mental health.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

All licensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are required to comply with mandatory conditions which include a gas safety certificate being presented annually to the local authority; ensuring that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room in the house which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a fixed combustion appliance other than a gas cooker; and ensuring that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.

All asylum accommodation used by the Home Office will remain subject to the Home Office accommodation contracts which set out clear minimum standards for asylum accommodation including fire, carbon-monoxide and gas safety. The Home Office Contracts Assurance team will inspect each HMO property benefitting from licensing exemption at least once in the two-year exemption period to ensure that Service Providers are adhering to the housing quality standards set out in the contracts. All local authorities will retain powers to enforce wider private rented sector standards.

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