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					                                    APPENDIX 2




       Bridgend County Borough Council
   Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr


  Environmental & Planning Services Directorate
         Public Protection Department


           PRIVATE RENTED HOUSING
POLICY FOR THE LICENSING OF HOUSES IN MULTIPLE
             OCCUPATION (HMO’S)
              HOUSING ACT 2004
                                                                Contents
1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1
2. Corporate Objectives/Local Housing Strategy.................................................... 2
3. HMO Licensing .................................................................................................... 3
4. Housing Health and Safety Rating System and Enforcement Regime.............. 5
5. Policies ................................................................................................................. 6
  Policy 1 – Fair and Consistent Enforcement ...............................................................................................6
  Policy 2 - Encouraging Applications ...........................................................................................................7
  Policy 3 – Failure to apply for a licence ......................................................................................................7
  Policy 4 – Refusal to grant a licence ...........................................................................................................7
  Policy 5 - Fees For Licences........................................................................................................................8
  Policy 6 - Rent Repayment Orders ..............................................................................................................8
  Policy 7 – HMO Standards ..........................................................................................................................8
  Policy 8 – Fit and Proper Persons................................................................................................................9
  Policy 9 – Management Arrangements......................................................................................................10
  Policy 10 – Discretionary Licence Conditions ..........................................................................................11
  Policy 11 – Breach of licensing conditions ...............................................................................................11
  Policy 12 – Temporary Exemption Notices ...............................................................................................12
  Policy 13 - Discretionary HMO Licensing ................................................................................................12
  Policy 14 - Bed and Breakfast Hotels ........................................................................................................12
  Policy 15 – Management Orders ...............................................................................................................12
  Policy 16 – Variation of licences ...............................................................................................................13
  Policy 17 – Revocation of licences ............................................................................................................13
Appendix A ............................................................................................................. 14
Housing Health And Safety Rating System .......................................................... 14
Appendix B ............................................................................................................. 18
Proposed fees for HMO Licensing ........................................................................ 18
Appendix C ............................................................................................................. 20
PUBLIC PROTECTION OVERARCHING ENFORCEMENT POLICY ............ 20
Appendix D ............................................................................................................. 25
The Enforcement Concordat ................................................................................. 25
Private Rented Housing
Policy for HMO Licensing and Regulation
1.   Introduction

The Housing Act 2004 radically overhauls the way the Council regulates
standards in private rented housing. It also introduces compulsory licensing of
certain houses in multiple occupation (HMO), see below for definition.

The Council aims to maximise the availability of private rented accommodation in
Bridgend and ensure that it is of a standard to protect the health and safety of
tenants. The availability of HMO lettings is also important in order to sustain
affordable housing. The Council sees the new legislation as an opportunity to
improve the services provided by private landlords as part of its aim to facilitate
the provision of good quality housing for all residents of the County Borough.

This policy sets out the way Bridgend will carry out the requirements of the
Housing Act 2004 in relation to HMO licensing.

The Housing Act 2004 simplifies the definition of an HMO to –

A building or part of building (flat) which is

a)   Is occupied by more than one household. AND
b)   At least one of the households shares or lacks access to a basic amenity
     ("basic amenities" means a toilet; personal washing facilities; or cooking
     facilities) AND
c)   Occupation by the households is as their main residence AND
d)   It is the sole residential use of the accommodation.

This includes bedsits, houses partly converted into self-contained flats, hostels,
accommodation above shops and shared houses and flats.

In addition, where the building is fully converted into self-contained flats IF the
conversion work does NOT comply with the building standard of the 1991
Building Regulations AND less than 2/3rd of the flats are occupied by long
leaseholders, it is considered an HMO.

The Act also defines a household as occupiers of the same family and includes
spouses, co-habitees, same sex couples and any blood relative.




                                            1
2.    Corporate Objectives/Local Housing Strategy

In compiling this policy, regard was given to the Council’s Corporate Objectives
and the Local Housing Strategy. The provision of safe licensed HMOs
contributes to the following Corporate Objectives:

    To improve quality of life for all.
    To look after our environment.
    To increase prosperity.
    To have safer communities.
    To achieve a healthier County Borough.
    To have a more inclusive County Borough.

In addition to this, it also impacts on the following aspects of the Housing Vision
and Specific Local Priorities identified in the Local Housing Strategy:

Housing Vision

    A housing provision that is consistent with the Council’s Community Strategy
     and the Council’s Unitary Development Plan.

    A housing provision that responds to the full range of the diverse needs
     identified within the County Borough.

    A quality private housing sector that is appropriately resourced and managed.

Specific Local Priorities

    Improving the condition, suitability and energy efficiency of existing housing.
    Making use of vacant properties.
    Preventing and reducing homelessness.
    Providing a supply of affordable housing.
    Meeting the needs of people with special housing requirements.
    Engaging in community regeneration initiatives.
    Encouraging ‘Living in the Town’ initiatives.




                                          2
3.   HMO Licensing

The aim of HMO licensing is to ensure the poorest properties in the private rental
market meet the legal standards and are properly managed.

An HMO is a building occupied by more than one household and includes
properties containing bedsits, hostels and shared houses. The Housing Act 2004
includes a new definition of households, which is families, including single
persons and co-habiting couples (whether or not of opposite sex). This has
clarified past confusion and means that shared houses will always be HMO's.
Bridgend has approximately 120 HMO's, and we anticipate that 50 of these will
need to be licensed, including a number of shared houses, which have not been
considered to be HMO's in the past.

HMO's of three or more stories, with five or more occupiers will need to be
licensed.    HMO’s owned by Registered Social Landlords, police, health
authorities, universities and some other listed organisations are exempt for
mandatory licensing, as are buildings converted into flats.

Licences will be granted where the house is reasonably suitable for occupation
as an HMO, the management arrangements are satisfactory and the lic ensee
and manager are fit and proper persons. The applicant must be the most
appropriate person to hold the licence. A member of the Public Protection
Department will visit before licensing an HMO, to assess compliance with the
licensing requirements and the number of people the HMO should be licensed
for.

Licences will be valid for five years and will specify the maximum number of
occupiers or households. The occupancy number will depend on the number
and size of rooms and the kitchen and bathroom facilities. We aim to issue draft
licences within four weeks of a full application. However, an exceptionally high
number of applications made just before the statutory deadline may cause
delays. This response time will be reviewed after six months.

The following mandatory conditions must be applied to all licences:

•    to provide copies of gas safety certificates annually
•    to keep electrical appliances and furniture safe
•    to keep smoke alarms in working order
•    to provide tenants with a written tenancy agreement.

A draft licence must be served on all interested parties, allowing at least fourteen
days for representations before granting the actual licence.




                                         3
Following licensing, HMOs will be prioritised for assessment under the Housing
Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Where Category 1 or Category 2
hazards are found informal action will be used to encourage owners to carry out
works, but if this fails enforcement action will be taken in accordance with our
policies.

The Council may serve a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) where a landlord
is, or shortly will be, taking steps to make an HMO non-licensable. A TEN can
only be granted for a maximum period of three months. A second three-month
TEN can be served in exceptional circumstances. Where a licensable HMO is
not licensed, the landlord cannot serve notice to quit until the HMO is licensed.

Where a landlord fails to licence an HMO, the Council can take a prosecution
case to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT). The RPT will replace the courts
in judging cases relating to some offences and appeals under the Act. On
conviction for failure to licence, the RPT has the power to make a Rent
Repayment Order requiring that up to 12 months’ rent is repaid to the tenant or to
the Council where a tenant is on housing benefits. The licensee has a right of
appeal to the RPT against refusal to licence, licensing conditions and the
maximum number of occupiers or households specified on the licence.

Where there is no prospect of an HMO being licensed, the Act requires that the
Council use its interim management powers. This enables the Council to take
over the management of an HMO and become responsible for running the
property and collecting rent for up to a year. In extreme cases this can be
extended to five years, with the Council also having the power to grant tenancies.
If the Council finds that there has been a change of circumstances in an HMO
since it was licensed, it has the power to vary the licence. If there is a serious
breach or there are repeated breaches of the licence conditions or the licensee or
manager are no longer fit and proper persons, the licence can be revoked. The
licence can also be revoked if the property is no longer a licensable HMO or if the
condition of the property means it would not be licensable were an application to
be made at the later time.

The Council has the power to set up additional local area HMO licensing
schemes, to enable HMO's, considered to be badly managed, to be licensed.
Many HMO's in Bridgend will not be licensable. These include houses containing
self contained flats and smaller HMO's. The only additional regulation of these
HMO's will be under the proposed HMO Management Regulations. They will
need to be free of all Category 1 hazards under the HHSRS, which applies to all
dwelling irrespective of whether they are an HMO.




                                         4
4.   Housing Health and Safety Rating System and Enforcement
     Regime

The fitness standard will be replaced by the Housing Health and Safety Rating
System (HHSRS), which is a risk assessment of the effect of housing conditions
on the health of occupiers. The HHSRS is more complex than the fitness
standard. It involves the assessment of 29 potential hazards (Appendix A) and
scoring of their severity to decide whether improvements are needed. If more
serious Category 1 hazards are found, the Council has a duty to require the
owner to remedy the defect. If less serious Category 2 hazards are found, the
Council has discretionary power to require action. Where a fire hazard is
identified, the Council will consult with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service
(SWFRS) on works required before taking enforcement action.

The enforcement regime involves a new set of notices to deal with these HHSRS
hazards requiring improvement, prohibition of the use of the dwelling or
demolition, please refer to the Enforcement of Housing Conditions Policy.




                                      5
5.   Policies

Policy 1 – Fair and Consistent Enforcement

The Council is committed to carrying out its duties in a fair and consistent
manner. It will follow the Council’s Public Protection Enforcement Policy
(Appendix C), The Enforcement of Housing Conditions Policy and The
Enforcement Concordat (Appendix D) in the regulation of the private sector
housing.

The Council believes that enforcement alone is unlikely to have much effect on
improving standards: our ethos is to work in partnership with landlords, giving
advice and assistance where possible. However, where landlords do not co-
operate, enforcement action will be taken.

Enforcement action will be based upon receipt of a complaint, a licence
application or where an assessment of risk indicates a property is sub-standard.
In the case of a complaint, the Council expects the tenants to have informed the
landlord of the problem and allowed time for remedial action, before contacting
the Public Protection Department for assistance.

Before serving a notice, we will discuss the need for a notice with the landlord
and tenants, where we are able to contact them using reasonable effort; we will
also outline the works required.

In addition to carrying out the requirements of the Housing Act 2004 in private
sector homes, the Council has a duty to investigate complaints of statutory
nuisance, defective sanitary appliances and drainage and other related matters
and serve notice.

Where notices are not complied with, the Council will use its powers to prosecute
and to carry out the work in the owner’s default, reclaiming the costs.
Prosecution will be the preferred initial option, unless the Head of Environmental
Health Services (or Assistant Director Public Protection) considers that there is
an urgent need for the works to be carried out to protect the health and safety of
the tenant.




                                        6
Policy 2 - Encouraging Applications

The Council will encourage landlords to apply for licences using a variety
of methods.

We will:

    publicise the need to licence HMO's (including comprehensive details on
     the Council’s website).

    send letters and reminders to landlords.

    provide electronic and paper application forms.

    set up a help-line.

    arrange drop-in sessions to assist with applications.

    offer a service assisting applicants with completion of forms and measuring
     rooms, where resources permit.

    send letters warning of prosecution and application for a rent repayment
     order.

Policy 3 – Failure to apply for a licence

Failure to apply for a licence for a licensable HMO within the time-scale
specified within the Regulations will result in prosecution .

Policy 4 – Refusal to grant a licence

The Authority will refuse to grant a licence if –

    The house is not reasonably suitable for the occupation by the proposed
     number of households and cannot be made suitable by the imposition of
     conditions under Section 67.

    That the proposed licence holder is not –

          A fit and proper person to be a licence holder, or
          Is not the most appropriate person (out of the persons reasonably
           available) to be the licence holder.




                                        7
    That the proposed manager of the house is not –

         The person having control of the house or
         A person who is an agent or employee of the person having control of
          the house.

    That the proposed manager of the house is not a fit and proper person to be
     managing the house.

    That the proposed management arrangements for the house are
     unsatisfactory.

Policy 5 - Fees For Licences

The Council will charge a basic licence fee of £350 and £100 per ‘fit and
proper person’ assessment. (Landlords will only have to pay for 1 fit &
proper person assessment if they submit applications for all their HMO’s
simultaneously).

The fees have been set to cover the Council’s costs of licensing HMO's and are
comparable to fees being charged by other Welsh Local Authorities. Full details
of the fee for a five year licences are in Appendix B. These fees will be reviewed
on an annual basis.

Policy 6 - Rent Repayment Orders
Where a landlord is convicted for failure to license and the rent is paid as
Housing Benefit, the Council will apply to the RPT for a Rent Repayment
Order (RRO) and will advise tenants to do the same.

The Council intends to use its powers under the Act to seek RROs for repayment
of twelve months’ housing benefit or for the period since the landlord was
required to license the HMO. We will provide tenants not on housing benefits
with information on how to apply. The Head of Environmental Health Services
will consider any exceptional circumstances where the Council should not seek
an RRO.

Policy 7 – HMO Standards
The Council will determine the number of people an HMO is licensed for in
accordance with compliance with the relevant HMO Code of Practice for
room sizes and kitchen and bathroom facilities.

These codes of practice are available at www.bridgend.gov.uk or on request from
Public Protection. There is a code of practice for bedsit HMO's and another for



                                        8
shared houses. They require bedrooms/bed-sitting rooms to be at least 8 to 15
square metres, depending on whether there is a shared kitchen or whether the
kitchen is in the room. In general, bathrooms should be available for every five
occupiers. In bedsit HMO's, one kitchen per household should be provided
where possible and in shared houses, up to five occupiers can share a kitchen.

Applications will need to include details of the kitchen and bathroom facilities to
enable assessment of the number of occupiers permitted in the licence. The
Council will be reviewing its codes of practice for HMOs in 2006/7.

Policy 8 – Fit and Proper Persons
The Council is required to assess whether the applicant and any manager
and any person associated with them or formerly associated* with them are
fit and proper people to own or manage an HMO. A person will be
considered fit and proper if the Council is satisfied that they meet the
following requirements –

•    they have no unspent convictions** relating to offences involving fraud,
     dishonesty, violence or drugs, or sexual offences.

•    they have no unspent convictions relating to unlawful discrimination on
     grounds of sex, race, or disability.

•    they have no unspent convictions relating to housing or landlord and tenant
     law.

•    they have no unspent convictions for breaches of planning, compulsory
     purchase, environmental protection or other legislation enforced by Local
     Authorities.

•    they have not been refused an HMO licence, been convicted of breaching
     the conditions of a licence or have acted otherwise than in accordance with
     the approved code of practice under S197 of the act within the last five
     years.

•    they have not been in control of a property subject to an HMO Control Order
     an Interim Management Order (IMO) or Final Management Order (FMO) or
     had work in default carried out by a Local Authority.

*     If a person associated or formally associated with the applicant or any
      manager, has done any of the things stated above, the council will only
      take these issues into account if they are relevant to the applicant or
      manager being a fit and proper person to manage the house.




                                        9
**    A conviction where the penalty is a fine is spent after five years.

•     they have no unspent convictions relating to offences involving fraud,
      dishonesty, violence or drugs, or sexual offences.

•     they have no unspent convictions relating to unlawful discrimination on
      grounds of sex, race, or disability.

•     they have no unspent convictions relating to housing or landlord and
      tenant law.

•     they have no unspent convictions for breaches of planning, compulsory
      purchase, environmental protection or other legislation enforced by Local
      Authorities.

•     they have not been refused an HMO licence, been convicted of breaching
      the conditions of a licence or have acted otherwise than in accordance
      with the approved code of practice under S197 of the act within the last
      five years.

•     they have not been in control of a property subject to an HMO Control
      Order an Interim Management Order (IMO) or Final Management Order
      (FMO) or had work in default carried out by a Local Authority.

Policy 9 – Management Arrangements
We will expect the licensee to have satisfactory arrangements and funding
in place for the management of the HMO.

Satisfactory arrangements for management will include:

    a reliable contact for tenants to report defects, including in emergencies,
     who will arrange for repairs to be carried out within a reasonable period.

    where the manager of the HMO is not the owner, the manager must have
     the authority to fund urgent repairs, when the owner’s approval cannot be
     obtained.

    arrangements in place for periodic inspections to identify where repair or
     maintenance is needed.

    a system for dealing with anti-social behaviour caused by tenants or their
     visitors, which causes nuisance or annoyance people in the locality.




                                        10
Policy 10 – Discretionary Licence Conditions

In addition to the mandatory licensing conditions, the Council will apply
discretionary conditions to all licences.

These will include:

    the HMO will comply with the statutory Management Regulations* within
     three months.

    to provide copies of reports of fire detection, alarm system and emergency
     lighting to the Council annually.

    the name, address and telephone number for licensee or manager is to be
     displayed in the common parts of the HMO.

    a copy of a valid gas safety certificate to be displayed in the common parts.

    a copy of the licence to be displayed in the common parts.

    that anti-social behaviour caused by tenants or their visitors, which causes
     nuisance or annoyance to people in the locality is dealt with and possession
     sought through the courts where other remedies have been exhausted (the
     local authority can provide informal advice).

The Council may apply other conditions to individual licences with respect to the
use, management and occupation of the HMO where appropriate and may seek
evidence of compliance with conditions at any time.

*    The HMO Management Regulations have not yet been published. These
     regulations will require HMO's to be kept in a reasonable state of repair, all
     installations and appliances (including those for fire safety) to be in good
     working order and the common parts to be kept clean and in a reasonable
     state of decoration.

Policy 11 – Breach of licensing conditions

Where a licence has been issued and the conditions of the licence are
breached, initially it will be brought to the attention of the licence holder
informally in writing (except where there is an imminent risk to health and
safety). If after bringing it to the attention of the licence holder, the breach
continues, enforcement action will be initiated in accordance with the
relevant policies (enforcement action can include service of a statutory
notice/order and/or carrying out emergency remedial action and/or referral
for prosecution and/or revocation of the licence).


                                        11
Policy 12 – Temporary Exemption Notices

The Council will not routinely grant more than one three month Temporary
Exemption Notice (TEN).

A TEN will be served where an owner of a licensable HMO states in writing that
he/she is taking steps to make an HMO non-licensable and states that the HMO
will not be licensable within three months. The Council does not wish these
notices to be used routinely, and therefore a second notice will only be
acceptable in exceptional and unforeseen circumstances agreed by the Head of
Environmental Health Services.

Policy 13 - Discretionary HMO Licensing
The Council does not intend to set up any additional discretionary
licensing schemes for HMO's, but will keep this under review.

The Council are satisfied that there is no need at present to set up any additional
licensing scheme, but we will review this policy annually.

Policy 14 - Bed and Breakfast Hotels

The Council will declare bed and breakfast hotels as HMO's if they are
housing any people who use the hotel as their main residence for more
than 30 days except where the accommodation is provided as temporary or
emergency housing for the homeless.

The Council believe that where this accommodation is used as a main residence,
the same standards as for other HMO's should be met. Bed and Breakfast
Hotels, where occupants are placed in the premises as part of a scheme to
provide tempoary or emergency accommodation for the homeless, will not be
declared HMO's. Where such premises are to be used as temporary or
emergency accommodation for the homeless, the premises will be inspected by
Housing and Community Wellbeing to ensure that the accommodation provided
is both safe and suitable. Within Bridgend there is currently a limited supply of
emergency accommodation for the homeless. If these premises were declared
HMO's, it is possible that the owners would no longer provide this service and
this may conflict with the Corporate Objectives and the Specific Local Priority
identified in the Local Housing Strategy because it may reduce the availiability of
temporary or emergency accomodation within the County Borough.

Policy 15 – Management Orders
Where there is no prospect of an HMO being licensed, the Council will
make use of its Management Powers.


                                        12
This enables the Council to take over the management of an HMO and become
responsible for running the property.

Policy 16 – Variation of licences

Where there has been a change of circumstances in an HMO since a
licence was issued, the Council will vary the licence.

Policy 17 – Revocation of licences
Where there is a serious breach or there are repeated breaches of the
licence conditions or the licensee or managers are no longer fit and proper
persons, the licence will be revoked. The licence will also be revoked if the
property is no longer a licensable HMO or if the condition of the property
means it would not be licensable were an application to be made at the
later time.




                                     13
Appendix A
Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Description of Hazards

1)   Damp and Mould Growth

     Exposure to house dust mites, mould or fungal growths resulting from
     dampness or high humidity.

2)   Excess Cold

     A temperature which is less than 18 degrees centigrade.

3)   Excess Heat

     A temperature which is more than 25 degrees centigrade.

4)   Asbestos and MMF

     Exposure to asbestos fibres or manufactured mineral fibres.

5)   Biocides

     Exposure to chemicals used to treat timber and mould growth.

6)   Carbon Monoxide and Fuel Combustion Products

     Exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and
     smoke.

7)   Lead

     The ingestion of lead.

8)   Radiation

     Exposure to radon gas.

9)   Uncombusted Fuel Gas

     Exposure to uncombusted fuel gas.




                                     14
10)   Volatile Organic Compounds

      Exposure to volatile organic compounds that are gaseous at room
      temperature.

11)   Crowding and Space

      A lack of adequate space for living and sleeping.

12)   Entry by Intruders

      Difficulties in keeping the dwelling or HMO secure against unauthorised
      entry.

13)   Lighting

      A lack of adequate lighting.

14)   Noise

      Exposure to noise.

15)   Domestic Hygiene, Pests and Refuge

      a)      Poor design, layout or construction such that the dwelling or HMO
              cannot readily be kept clean.

      b)      Exposure to pests.

      c)      An adequate provision for the hygienic storage and disposal of
              household waste.

16)   Food Safety

      An inadequate provision of facilities for the storage, preparation and
      cooking of food.

17)   Personal Hygiene, Sanitation and Drainage

      a)      Facilities for maintaining good personal hygiene;

      b)      Sanitation and drainage.




                                         15
18)   Water Supply

      An inadequate supply of water for drinking and other domestic purposes.

19)   Falls Associated with Baths

      Falls associated with baths, showers or other washing facilities.

20)   Falls on Level Surfaces etc

      Falls on any level surface or falls between surfaces where the change in
      level is not more than 300 millimetres.

21)   Falls Associated with Stairs etc

      Falls on stairs, steps or ramps where the change in level is more than 300
      millimetres.

22)   Falls between Levels

      Falls between levels where the difference in levels is more than 300
      millimetres.

23)   Electrical Hazards

      Exposure to electricity.

24)   Fire

      Exposure to uncontrolled fire.

25)   Flames, Hot Surfaces etc

      Contact with:

      a)     Controlled fire or flames;

      b)     Hot objects, liquid or vapours.

26)   Collision and Entrapment

      Collision with or entrapment of body parts in doors, windows or other
      architectural features.




                                          16
27)   Explosions

      An explosion at, or near, the dwelling or HMO.

28)   Position of Amenities etc

      The position and location of amenities, fittings and equipment.

29)   Structural Collapse and Falling Elements

      The collapse of the whole or part of the dwelling or HMO.




                                       17
Appendix B

Proposed fees for HMO Licensing

Fee for five year licence

                            Action                             Time in Officer
                                                               Minutes Grade
Enquiry received and service request entered              onto 15      Admin
computer database
Information pack sent out                                         15       Admin
                 APPLICATION RETURNED
Write out receipt/attach to application/complete receipt          15       Admin
voucher
Enter service request on computer database and update             15       Admin
with appropriate actions
Generate acknowledgement letter and send to applicant             15       Admin
along with receipt
Enter particulars of application form on to premises record       15       Admin
on computer database
Make up premises file                                             15       Admin
            FILE PASSED TO EHO FOR ACTION
Check details on application form are complete and correct        30       EHO
Check that all particulars have been entered onto computer        15       EHO
premises record correctly
Prepare memo to planning regarding HMO details                    15       EHO
Examine gas safety and other certificates submitted with          30       EHO
licence application for validity
Visit property to check licence application details, produce      120      EHO
illustrated diagram and prioritise for inspection under the
Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Prepare licence documents and certificates of service for all     120      EHO
recipients
Enter relevant details on computer records                        30       EHO
Check and sign licence documents                                  30       EHO
Serve licence documents on recipients by post                     15       Admin

     Officer          Estimated Hours         Recharge Rate (£)   Actual Charge (£)
Admin                2                        22.56               45.12
EHO                  6.5                      47.70               310.05
                                                       TOTAL      355.17
                                              TOTAL (rounded)     350

The total charge for a property licence will be £350 (+ the appropriate fit & proper
person assessment fee – see below).


                                         18
Fee for Fit & Proper Person Assessment

This fee is to be paid each time an application(s) for an HMO licence is
submitted. Landlords with more than one premises that requires a licence will
only have to pay this fee once (if applications for those premises are submitted
simultaneously)

                          Action                           Time in Officer
                                                           Minutes Grade
Carry out a fit and proper person assessment including 120         EHO
liaison with internal and external agencies as appropriate

      Officer        Estimated Hours        Recharge Rate (£) Actual Charge (£)
EHO                 2                       47.70             95.40
                                                     TOTAL 95.40
                                            TOTAL (rounded) 100

The fee for carrying out a fit and proper person assessment is £100.

NOTES

The above charge ensures that the cost of the licence covers both direct and
indirect costs to the Authority in undertaking these duties. The rates are as at
2005/2006. BCBC has a Staff Time Analysis (STA) system which produces
hourly rates including overhead recovery which is used to charge time to capital
projects, grant schemes and other rechargeable works. The system is accepted
by both internal and external auditors and has been used to calculate these
figures by the Finance Section of the Central Administration Unit.




                                       19
Appendix C

PUBLIC PROTECTION OVERARCHING ENFORCEMENT POLICY

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this policy is to secure efficient compliance with legislation whilst
minimising the burden to the Council, individuals, organisations and businesses,
complying with the spirit of the European Convention on Human Rights (as
implemented by the Human Rights Act 1998).

Since it is intended to be applied in a wide range of situations, the policy explains
in general terms the approach adopted by the department, when carrying out the
Council's duty to enforce a wide range of legislation.

The Authority has signed up to the Cabinet Office Enforcement Concordat.

The policy is based on the five guiding principles set out below:

    Consistency

     To ensure that similar issues are dealt with in the same way.

    Fairness

     To ensure a fair and even handed approach.

    Proportionality

     To ensure that action taken relates directly to the actual or potential risk to
     health, safety, the environment, or significant economic disadvantage to the
     consumer or business.

    Transparency

     To ensure that the enforcement action that will be taken by the Council is
     easily understood by individuals, organisations and businesses having to
     comply with legislation, and that clear distinctions are made between legal
     requirements and advice or guidance about what is desirable, but not
     compulsory.

    Objectivity

     To ensure that decisions are not influenced by the gender, ethnic origin,
     religious or political beliefs or sexual preferences of the offender, victim,
     witnesses or any other person in receipt of the department's services.


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     Sensitive consideration will be given where persons involved are children,
     elderly, infirm or suffering from a mental disorder.

LEVEL OF ENFORCEMENT ACTION

Legislation may be enforced by one or a combination of the following four
methods:

    Promotion: to raise awareness about legal standards and promote good
     practice. This is typically achieved by the issuing of press releases, making
     leaflets and other forms of written guidance available to the public and
     businesses, and by face-to-face contact.

    Informal warnings: these will be used to reinforce promotional activities
     where, whilst the law may have been broken or where a minor offence had
     been committed, it was not thought appropriate to take any other action. An
     informal warning can be oral or written.

     (If it is believed that such a warning is inappropriate or unjustified, then this
     policy allows for the decision to be reviewed by a senior officer).

    Formal enforcement action: including

          statutory (legal) notices.
          refusal to grant a licence or registration.
          the revocation of a licence or registration.
          the carrying out of work in default by the Authority and recovery of
           costs.
          formal cautions.
          prosecution.

    The referral of the matter to a third party for their action: e.g. referral of
     a food labelling problem to the 'Home Authority' for the producer under the
     LACOTS Home Authority Principle.

STATUTORY (LEGAL) NOTICES

Many Acts of Parliament enforced by the Council provide for the service of
statutory notices, which require a person, business or organisation to comply with
specific legal requirements. When a formal notice is served, the method of
appealing against the notice (i.e. if you feel that the notice is unjustified or
excessive in its requirements) will be provided in writing at the same time. The
notice will explain what is wrong, what is required to put things right and what will
happen if the notice is not complied with satisfactorily.




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In general, failure to comply with a properly written and served statutory notice
makes the recipient liable to prosecution. In some cases the Council is able to
carry out works to comply with the notice and recover the costs of doing so from
the recipient of the notice. In such cases, works will be carried out in default. In
certain circumstances it is possible to prosecute as well as serve a notice: failure
to comply with the notice would be an additional offence.

FORMAL CAUTIONS

Under certain circumstances, a formal caution may be an alternative to
prosecution and this will be considered prior to any decision to prosecute. A
formal caution is a serious matter and it is recorded on the Central Register of
Convictions. It may be used to influence any decision, to determine whether or
not to institute proceedings, if the person should offend again and it may be
referred to in any subsequent court proceedings. It will not be considered in
respect of any offence committed more than three years prior to the caution.

The purposes of formal cautions are:-

(a)   to deal quickly and simply with less serious offenders.
(b)   to avoid unnecessary appearance in criminal courts.
(c)   to reduce the chance of offenders re-offending.

Before issuing a caution, which will usually be administered by letter, the
following conditions must be satisfied:-

     all cautions will be issued in accordance with Council procedures.

     there must be evidence of guilt sufficient to give a realistic prospect of
      conviction.

     the suspected offender must admit the offence, usually by signing a
      declaration.

     the suspected offender must understand the significance of a formal caution
      and give an informal consent to the caution.

     should the offer of a formal caution not be accepted by a possible
      defendant, prosecution will be recommended to the Authority's Legal
      Department.

PROSECUTION

The Council will use discretion in deciding whether to initiate a prosecution, but
where the circumstances warrant it, prosecution without prior warning and
recourse to alternative sanctions may take place.


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Any decision to recommend prosecution will be the subject of peer review and
the final decision to recommend prosecution will be taken by either the Assistant
Director (Public Protection), the Head of Trading Standards Services or the Head
of Environmental Health Services.

The Council will consider prosecution when:-

    it is appropriate in the circumstances, as a way to draw attention to the
     need for compliance with the law and the maintenance of standards
     required by law, especially where there would be a normal expectation that
     a prosecution would be taken, or where, through the conviction of offenders,
     others may be deterred from similar failures to comply with the law; or

    where there is the potential for considerable harm arising from the breach;
     or

    the gravity of the offence, taken together with the general record and
     approach of the offender warrants it.

The decision to prosecute will always take account of the criteria set down in the
Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The Council will also identify and prosecute or recommend the prosecution of
individuals, including company directors and managers, if they consider that such
a conviction is warranted and can be secured.

Before deciding to prosecute, there must be sufficient evidence for a realistic
prospect of conviction, taking account of any defence that may be available, and
it must be in the public interest.

The following public interest criteria will normally be taken into account when
deciding on the relevance of legal proceedings, although this list is not
exhaustive:

    The prevalence of the type of offence.

    The need for a suitable deterrent.

    The risk of danger or injury to the public.

    The failure to comply with a statutory notice or respond to advice about
     legal requirements.

    The disregard of legal requirements for financial reward.



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    Significant financial loss, potential or actual, to a third party.

    Was the investigation the result of a complaint by a third party?

    A history of similar offences.

    Persistent breaches of legislation.

    Where fraud, gross negligence or guilty knowledge is a factor.

    Minor breaches of a number of statutes.

Where possible, an offender will be told as soon as sufficient evidence is
obtained that a prosecution may follow. All prosecutions will be brought without
unnecessary delay.

MATTERS CONCERNING WORK RELATED DEATHS

Where there has been a breach of the law leading to a work related death, the
Public Protection Department will liaise with the police, coroner and the Crown
Prosecution Service (CPS) and if there is evidence of manslaughter, pass the
case to the police or where appropriate the CPS.




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Appendix D
The Enforcement Concordat

The Principles of Good Enforcement:

Policy and Procedures

This document sets out what business and others being regulated can expect
from enforcement officers. It commits us to good enforcement policies and
procedures. It may be supplemented by additional statements of enforcement
policy. The primary function of central and local government enforcement work is
to protect the public, the environment and groups such as consumers and
workers. At the same time, carrying out enforcement functions in an equitable,
practical and consistent manner helps to promote a thriving national and local
economy. We are committed to these aims and to maintaining a fair and safe
trading environment. The effectiveness of legislation in protecting consumers or
sectors in society depends crucially on the compliance of those regulated. We
recognise that most businesses want to comply with the law. We will, therefore,
take care to help business and others meet their legal obligations without
unnecessary expense, while taking firm action, including prosecution where
appropriate, against those who flout the law or act irresponsibly. All citizens will
reap the benefits of this policy through better information, choice and safety. We
have therefore adopted the central and local government Concordat on Good
Enforcement. Included in the term ‘enforcement’ are advisory visits and assisting
with compliance as well as licensing and formal enforcement action. By adopting
the concordat we commit ourselves to the following policies and procedures,
which contribute to best value, and will provide information to show that we are
observing them.

Principles of Good Enforcement:

Policy

STANDAR DS

In consultation with business and other relevant interested parties, including
technical experts where appropriate, we will draw up clear standards setting out
the level of service and performance the public and business people can expect
to receive. We will publish these standards and our annual performance against
them. The standards will be made available to businesses and others who are
regulated.




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OPENNESS

We will provide information and advice in plain language on the rules that we
apply and will disseminate this as widely as possible. We will be open about how
we set about our work, including any charges that we set, consulting business,
voluntary organisations, charities, consumers and workforce representatives. We
will discuss general issues, specific compliance failures or problems with anyone
experiencing difficulties.

HELPF ULNESS

We believe that prevention is better than cure and that our role therefore involves
actively working with business, especially small and medium sized businesses, to
advise on and assist with compliance. We will provide a courteous and efficient
service and our staff will identify themselves by name. We will provide a contact
point and telephone number for further dealings with us and we will encourage
business to seek advice/information from us. Applications for approval of
establishments, licenses, registrations, etc, will be dealt with efficiently and
promptly. We will ensure that, wherever practicable, our enforcement services
are effectively co-ordinated to minimise unnecessary overlaps and time delays.

COM PL AINTS ABOUT SERVI CE

We will provide well publicised, effective and timely complaints procedures easily
accessible to business, the public, employees and consumer groups. In cases
where disputes cannot be resolved, any right of complaint or appeal will be
explained, with details of the process and the likely time-scales involved.

PROPORTIONALITY

We will minimise the costs of compliance for business by ensuring that any action
we require is proportionate to the risks. As far as the law allows, we will tak e
account of the circumstances of the case and the attitude of the operator when
considering action. We will take particular care to work with small businesses
and voluntary and community organisations so that they can meet their legal
obligations without unnecessary expense, where practicable.

CONSISTENCY

We will carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. While
inspectors are expected to exercise judgement in individual cases, we will have
arrangements in place to promote consistency, including effective arrangements
for liaison with other authorities and enforcement bodies through schemes such
as those operated by the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and
Trading Standards (LACOTS) and the Local Authority National Type Approval
Confederation (LANTAC).


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Principles of Good Enforcement:

Procedures

Advice from an officer will be put clearly and simply and will be confirmed in
writing, on request, explaining why any remedial work is necessary and over
what time-scale, and making sure that legal requirements are clearly
distinguished from best practice advice. Before formal enforcement action is
taken, officers will provide an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the
case and, if possible, resolve points of difference, unless immediate action is
required (for example, in the interests of health and safety or environmental
protection or to prevent evidence being destroyed). Where immediate action is
considered necessary, an explanation of why such action was required will be
given at the time and confirmed in writing in most cases within 5 working days
and, in all cases, within 10 working days. Where there are rights of appeal
against formal action, advice on the appeal mechanism will be clearly set out in
writing at the time the action is taken (whenever possible this advice will be
issued with the enforcement notice).




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