Supreme Court rules on licence conditions for HMOs

Cases

The Supreme Court has today handed down its decision in Nottingham City Council v Parr [2018] UKSC 51. The case concerned conditions imposed on licences for two houses in multiple occupation which prohibited the landlord from letting the HMOs to anyone other than students. This has the effect that the HMOs were treated as being suitable to accommodate more persons than would otherwise have been the case, because it was said that students would usually engage in communal living and could therefore occupy bedrooms that would be too small for other types of occupiers. The main issue in the case was whether the Housing Act 2004 allows the imposition of such a condition on an HMO licence. The Supreme Court has held that the imposition of such a condition was permitted by the legislation, and that the power to impose conditions under sections 64 and 67 of the Act in order to make an HMO suitable for a particular number of households or persons can be used so as to limit the class of persons for whom the HMO is suitable.

The judgment is available here and a press summary here.

Jonathan Moffett QC and Heather Emmerson appeared for the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who intervened in the case.