What is a Fit and Proper Person?
To be able to hold an HMO licence a person has to be considered to be “fit and proper”.
Each applicant for a licence will be asked details of:
- Any unspent convictions for offences involving fraud or other dishonesty, or violence or drugs or any offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Any unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, or in connection with the carrying on of a business
- Any contravention of any provision of the law relating to housing or of landlord and tenant law (including any civil proceedings that resulted in a judgement against you).
Any applicant who does not declare unspent convictions will be committing an offence and liable to a fine of up to £5,000. A licence could also be denied or revoked in such cases.
Each application will have to be considered individually by the local authority and the declaration of an unspent conviction would not necessarily mean that the applicant was not a fit and proper person.
Simon Read, barrister with Zenith Chambers in Leeds delivered a presentation at our conference in Swansea on 17th May 2006 on the subject of fit and proper person.
To see his presentation, click here.
Dealing with tenants’ behaviour
Each licence holder has an obligation to make sure that their tenants are not causing problems within the boundary of the property through anti-social behaviour.
The types of behaviour will vary, but could commonly include problems with loud music and parties or rubbish not put out properly for collection.
Whilst initially the first steps for dealing with such issues will rest with landlords, they may need & should expect to receive, assistance from local authorities, police and other agencies to deal with anti-social behaviour.