The Government consulted on the effectiveness of the code in assuring acceptable management practices and standards as part of our consultation on extending mandatory licensing of HMOs. We acknowledged as part of our response, that a significant number of consultees were satisfied with the code as being a means of ensuring acceptable management practices and standards in student accommodation. However, membership of a code alone does not guarantee that the student accommodation meets local standards set by a local authority and therefore should not necessarily provide an exemption from HMO licensing.
Educational establishments have a duty of care defined by statutory obligations, for example through the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, that they must fulfil, both in the provision of education and accommodation to its students. They are also subject to regulation by an independent regulator, the Office for Students. However, private companies are not subject to the same levels of regulation and therefore should not be exempted from House in Multiple Occupation licensing.
Therefore, the Government does not have plans to remove requirements for private providers of purpose-built student accommodation who are part of an approved national code to be subject to houses in multiple occupation licensing.