On appeal from: [2017] EWCA Civ 188.

The appellant landlord appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the power to impose conditions under the Housing Act 2004, ss 64 and 67 (licensing a house in multiple occupation) could not be used to limit the class of persons for whom a HMO was suitable, and that the conditions imposed by the FTT, UT and the Court of Appeal (that communal space be kept available for communal living only and that no bedrooms be let to persons other than full-time students) were irrational and unenforceable.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses the appeal. The wording of s 67(1)(a) in their natural meaning are sufficiently wide to include those conditions imposed by the tribunals and the Court of Appeal. Such a reading is also consistent with the object and purpose of the 2004 Act. The guidance in respect of the 2004 Act also supports the view that the manner of occupation of a room and the type of occupant may have a bearing on the suitability of a particular room for a particular use.

The Court agrees with the Court of Appeal that the conditions imposed by the tribunals were deficient in that they failed to require any part of the HMO to be available for communal living and did not require the bedrooms other than the attic bedrooms to be let to students. That deficiency was, however, cured by the further conditions introduced by the Court of Appeal. The condition limiting the occupation to persons engaged in full-time education is rational and enforceable.

For judgment, please download: [2018] UKSC 51
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (13 Jun 2018 morning session) (13 Jun 2018 afternoon session)