A small update on the campaign by Friendly Housing Action to fix the Housing Act and make it so that fully mutual co-ops don't need to have HMO licenses. Basically the good news is that the government has yet again admitted that co-ops should be exempt, and that it intends to fix the issue. They don't want to open up any unintentional loopholes in the law for other types of landlord/organisation though, so further advice is going to be sought about how to word it, etc. Although this doesn't mean the battle is over, as I imagine a tremendous number of small, yet important, things slip through the cracks at Westminster, it is a significant achievement and Friendly Housing Action deserve a massive round of applause for their work.
Full text from Hansard*:
"Andrew Stunell: My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr
Leech) has tabled new clause 26, which relates to a specific situation for
fully mutual housing co-operatives. By a quirk of the legislation, they are
caught by the houses in multiple occupation requirement for licensing and,
sometimes, planning permission. The Department has been lobbied by the
Friendly Housing Action campaign group to secure an exemption for fully
mutual housing co-operatives, and I am very sympathetic to the campaign, as
such organisations were never intended to be caught by the licensing
We have to be careful to ensure that in granting an exemption we do not
inadvertently allow other categories to slip through the loophole, so I am
asking for further advice on how we might achieve that. I hope to return to
the issue at a later stage, so I hope that my hon. Friends will not feel the
need to press new clause 26 to a Division. "
This is a signifiant step forward for the campaign. However, we now need to
carefully manage the passage of the amendment through the Lords. We should
probably hold a meeting during the next gathering to work through this.
* I'm hoping to get a video of this glorious moment, which I will embed as soon as I have it.