Don’t fall foul of new licensing laws for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Written on . Posted in Building control, Commercial properties, Community, Environmental health, Housing, Licensing, Media, Our performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

New licensing laws for landlords, which further protect tenants in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from poor living conditions, come into effect on 1 October from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

HMO Licence
Landlords who let a property to five or more people – from two or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.

The move gives Epping Forest District Council more powers to crack down on those landlords who are renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

The new rules set minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding, and landlords must adhere to council refuse schemes to reduce problems with rubbish.

If you’re a landlord of an HMO, here’s what to do

If you’re not sure whether the new requirements apply to you

And in time for your licence to be processed before 1 October 2018

What happens if I don’t?

  • Prosecution or a Civil Penalty of up to £30,000 for committing an offence
  • Banning Order – You may be banned from operating as a landlord or agent in the private rented sector
  • Up to 12 months’ rent and/or housing benefit can be claimed back by the tenant and/or the Council
  • Any Section 21 notice requiring a tenant to leave the property will not be valid.

Property standards

In addition to general requirements affecting all rented properties, a licensed HMO will need to meet the Essex HMO Amenity Standards.  These set the amount of bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities, together with the sleeping and communal living space required, depending on the size of the property.

The property will also need to have adequate fire safety measures in place to protect the occupiers and meet the Management Regulations for cleanliness and maintenance of the property.

“Our Private Sector Housing Team is able to explain the new legislation and offer advice and support to landlords of HMOs,” said Cllr Syd Stavrou Portfolio Holder for Housing..

“Call or email them to arrange an informal discussion or to make an appointment to visit the property so that they can advise on any requirements and possible options.”

More information 

Annual Canvass of Electors – have you filled in your form?

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Updated information

If you have received a phone call, email or message from Epping forest District Council Elections Team asking for some further information, please respond before Friday 21 September 2018.

Around 38.000 households in Epping Forest District responded to their Household Enquiry Forms almost as soon as they received them in August– but there are still 18,500 outstanding.

Annual Canvass 2018

Use an automated service

More than half of those who responded did so by using an automated service – online/phone/text

And to keep costs down we need most of the remaining households to use a similar method because last year we spent £20,000 on sending out reminders.

Get your responses back to us

The HEF forms are a crucial part of our annual canvass of electors which begins in August every year. The first deadline has passed so we would urge everyone who hasn’t already done so, to get their responses back to us immediately.

There is a second stage to the registration process for new people added to the Household Enquiry Form. Unless this is done they won’t be able to vote in any elections or referendums.

It’s a simple process and can be done

Before 29 August.

Here’s what to do…

No changes?

Using the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form:

Changes to make?

  • Amend the information online easily and quickly online or
  • Amend the form and return it in the prepaid envelope – making sure to give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries.

Vacancy for independent member

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A vacancy for an independent member of a panel that makes recommendations about councillors’ allowances and expenses has arisen at Epping Forest District Council.

The vacancy is for 1 person to sit on both the District and Town/Parish Council Remuneration Panels. Each panel consists of 3 members, whose role is to undertake research and make recommendation to the Council about allowances and expenses.

Interested in Council activities

If you live or work in the Epping Forest District and have a real interest in the Council’s activities, this role may be of interest. It is an opportunity for a conscientious person to influence the way elected members are reimbursed for their public service. Knowledge or experience of finance or local government would be helpful but political impartiality is essential.

Applicants must demonstrate their independence and meet certain criteria before they can be considered for appointment. Further details are set out in the candidate information pack.

Serving District and Town/Parish councillors and co-opted members of any committee which could be the subject of recommendations made by the panel are not able to apply.

Appointment will be made following interviews and the successful candidate will receive appropriate training. Although the position is a volunteer role, an annual allowance of £250 is paid.

How to apply

To receive an information pack and application form, and to answer general questions about the vacancy and the work of the panels, please contact Stephen Tautz, Democratic Services Manager

Closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 14 September 2018. They should be sent by post to Democratic Services Manager, Epping Forest District Council, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ or to the email address given above.

Seeking views on our new enforcement policy

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We are responsible for enforcement in a wide range of areas from planning to licensing.

In order to ensure consistency across our operations, and to continue to meet the standards of the statutory regulatory code, we are looking to update our enforcement policy and now seeking the views of the public.


Enforcement can take many forms including inspections, investigating complaints, providing advice, licensing of activities, persons or premises, issuing statutory or fixed penalty notices and taking prosecutions.

A consistent approach

“The decision of when and what enforcement action to take – or not take – can have serious implications and it is important that there is an effective policy in place to ensure a consistent approach,” said Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Whitbread,

“The updated Enforcement Policy encompasses the 5 principles of good regulation by being transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted.”

Cllr Whitbread continued, “In short, the Council aims to treat compliant individuals and businesses with lighter, alternative interventions and other incentives, but for those who commit serious breaches or flout the law it will not hesitate to take all necessary enforcement action.”

Consultation information

We want to get this right, so the views of individuals, businesses and organisations on the proposed new enforcement policy would be greatly appreciated. Please send any comments on the 2018 version of the policy by 29 August 2018.


Read the policy Corporate enforcement policy 2018

Comments to Robin Ray at or call 01992 564146.

Post any correspondence to Robin Ray, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ.

Next step – all submitted comments will be considered and where appropriate the policy amended prior to submission to Cabinet for approval and publication on our website.

Updating our licensing policy

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Licensing, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A new licensing policy has been produced in consultation with Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service and other local organisations. Now it’s the turn of local businesses, residents and local organisations to have their say on the new policy.


Ensure prevention of crime, disorder and nuisance

“We are required by law to review our policy at least every 3 years, or when there are changes to legislation or circumstances,” said Cllr Sam Kane, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport.

“The purpose of a licensing policy is to ensure prevention of crime, disorder and nuisance, as well as public safety and the protection of children from harm.”

How it is delivered

We deliver a wide range of enforcement services aimed at safeguarding the environment and the community, and the licensing policy falls within this remit. We are committed to the principles of good inspection and enforcement practice and to carrying out its regulatory functions in a fair, open and consistent manner.

We care responsible for the licensing of events, premises and individuals for alcohol and entertainment, along with those offering late night refreshments.

Comment now

Read the policy Licensing policy 2018

Comments on all aspects of the policy are invited with a closing date of 21 September. All comments received will be considered and the results of the consultation published on our website.

Statement – Fire at Burton Road, Loughton

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Updated Information – 13.15pm on 17 August 2018

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have announced that the fire is now out.

We cannot speculate on the cause of the fire at the moment, that will come out following an official investigation.

The photo below shows the building now that the fire is out and demonstrates how remarkably well the structure has stood up to the fire.

Council Leader, Chris Whitbread said: “You can always rebuild bricks and mortar, the important thing is that everyone appears to be safe and the fire is now out.”

Original statement made – 12:00pm 17 August 2018

A development of new flats in Burton Road, Loughton has caught fire and the fire service are in attendance.

This is a development of new council housing being built for Epping Forest District Council. A £10 million design and build mixed tenure residential development of 51 affordable rent units, comprising of 17 homes and 34 apartments.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council is at Burton Road.

He said: “Our first concern is for the safety and welfare of all concerned. It looks like everyone is safe. Essex Fire and Rescue is on the scene and it is under control. These flats are still being built. This is a construction site and there are no tenants living here. However we are obviously concerned about everyone working on the site at the time the fire started.

“The development is being built for us by Mulalley – a large construction company with a long and successful track record of building major projects. It is too early to say what caused the fire but it is clearly large. Essex Fire and Rescue has cordoned the site off.

“Our first priority is to ensure people are safe. Neighbouring residents are being asked to stay in their homes. This is bound to cause some travel disruption and people are being asked to avoid the area if they can.

“The council has several roles: we are the client and this is a serious setback for us and all those people we are building these new homes for. More importantly in the short term we have a supporting role to the emergency services and would be in a position to set up rest centres nearby if required for neighbouring residents. At this stage our staff are on standby if rest centres are needed. We also employ specialist building control officers who will be at the disposal of Essex Fire and Rescue to assess the damage and ensure the buildings are made safe once the fire is out.

“In the longer term we will recover. Bricks and mortar can always be replaced and we will rebuild these much needed homes for local people. For now, our thoughts are focused on the safety of everyone living and working in the area.

Please visit the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service website for reliable advice and up to date information about the incident


Decisions from Plans West 15 August 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting Wednesday 15 August 2018.


  • EPF/3266/17 – Lakeview Kennels, Claverhambury Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2BL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3359/17 – Land to rear of 54 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1EJ
  • EPF/0600/18 – Skilletts Hill Farm, Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3QU
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0601/18 – Land between 32a and 33, Downlands, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1UH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0827/18 – Silverdale Nursery, Hoe Lane, Nazeing, Essex EN9 2RJ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0854/18- Maycroft, Epping Road, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HT
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1163/18 – Oakleigh Nursery, Paynes Lane, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2EU
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1769/18 – Chimes Garden Centre, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Essex, EN10 6RJ
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Decisions from Plans East 8 August 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 8 August 2018.


  • EPF/0712/18 – Cornerways, The Green, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex, CM16 7JH
    Deferred for site visit
  • EPF/0859/18 – Ship Cottage, Off New Road, Lambourne End, Essex, RM4 1AJ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1320/18 – 19 High Street, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9DS
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1339/18 – Land adj Hoppit, The Street, Sheering, Essex, CM22 7LR
    Deferred for site visit
  • EPF/1348/18 – 4 Kendal Avenue, Epping, Essex, CM16 4PN
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1374/18 – Ambresbury House, Theydon Road, Theydon Bois, Essex, CM16 4EF
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1406/18 – 1 Mount End, Mount End Road, Theydon Mount, Epping Essex CM16 7PS
    Deferred for site visit

Planning application search

Decisions from Plans South 25 July 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 25 July 2018.


  • EPF/1965/17 – 19 Shaftesbury, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1HN
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0218/18 – 185 High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6NU
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0902/18 – Land adj 15 Chigwell Rise, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6AQ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1023/18 – 8 Ely Place, Chigwell, Essex, IG8 8AG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1065/18 – 21 The Drive, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5RB
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1285/18 – 6 Forest Side, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5SL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0846/18 – 2 Connaught Avenue, Loughton, Essex, Ig10 4DP
    Permission refused

Planning application search

What’s on? Summer activities – Week 6

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Looking for summer holiday activity inspiration? Take a look at what we have in store for Monday 27 to Friday 31 August 2018 of the summer holidays.

Click to enlarge photos of the brochure

Make a fairy garden

  • Tuesday 28 August
  • 10am- 12pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £5.50
  • Ages 5-14


Street tennis

  • Tuesday 28 August
  • 10am- 12pm
  • Roding Valley recreation ground, Roding Road, Tennis courts, Loughton, IG10 3BS
  • £3.50
  • Ages 5-11

No need to book

Street basketball

  • Wednesday 29 August
  • 10am – 12pm
  • Roding Valley recreation ground, Roding Road, Tennis courts, Loughton, IG10 3BS
  • £5
  • Ages 10- 14

No need to book

How to draw, a portrait

  • Wednesday 29 August
  • 30am -12pm
  • Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1HD
  • £8
  • Ages 8-14


How to draw, a landscape

  • Wednesday 29 August
  • 20pm – 3pm
  • Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1HD
  • £8
  • Ages 8- 14


Multi-sports, forest adventures and more…

We have also planned a wide range of sport, play and adventure days regularly, at multiple locations, throughout the 8 week holiday

  • Multi-sports days – book
  • Forest adventures – book
  • Play in the forest – no need to book
  • Play in the park – no need to book

Check the full brochure for locations, dates and times.

Further details

Summer holidays by week