CIEH backs legal challenge to draft regulations exempting asylum seeker accommodation from HMO licensing requirements

01 November 2023, Mark Hope

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is backing a legal challenge to the UK Government’s draft regulations exempting accommodation for asylum seekers from houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing requirements.

Zena Lynch, a member of the CIEH Housing Advisory Panel who is also an Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Risk Management at the University of Birmingham, has provided a witness statement on behalf of CIEH for a judicial review of the draft regulations.

CIEH members are concerned that these draft regulations could lead to a lowering of housing standards for asylum seekers.

The legal claim is being pursued by lawyers who were involved in the recent successful challenge to the Government’s Rwanda policy.

The case is listed for a hearing on 7-8 February 2024.

Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“These draft regulations risk creating a two-tier system for enforcement of standards in HMOs. They could also incentivise unscrupulous landlords to move into the supply of asylum-seeker accommodation.

We have a unique perspective on the issue as the body representing the people responsible for HMO licensing enforcement.

This is an important opportunity for us to make our voice heard.”

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