HMO Licence Condition for Under-Sized Attic Room

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In a ruling of importance for landlords of student accommodation, a tribunal upheld as lawful a licensing condition which required that an under-sized attic bedroom in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must only be slept in by someone in full-time education.

In licensing the HMO, the relevant local authority stated that the room’s sloping ceilings made it too small to be slept in by anyone at all. However, the First-tier Tribunal allowed the landlord’s appeal and amended the licence so that the room could be occupied by a full-time student who resided in the HMO for a maximum of 10 calendar months in any one year.

In dismissing the council’s appeal against that ruling, the Upper Tribunal rejected its plea that such a tiny room ought not to have been regarded as suitable for use as a bedroom. The licence, as amended, was reasonable and lawfully restricted the use of the bedroom to a particular category of occupier.

(Nottingham City Council v Parr)