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University of Bristol

 

Guidance to Students: Community Living Page

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/privately-rented/living-in-privately-rented-accommodation/living/

Party Code

The page mentioned above contains the following key paragraphs in a section headed "Parties". In the excerpt below the bold emphasis is from the original, the blue highlight is mine:

Houses in residential areas are not suitable for large, late, loud parties. Neighbours should not be expected to tolerate this level of disturbance. Fines of up to £100 per household member can be imposed for holding a party that causes unacceptable disturbance to your neighbours. Your party is likely to be unacceptable to your neighbours if you are considering any of the following:

  • Hiring a DJ or professional sound equipment

  • Hiring door staff

  • Inviting more than three guests per housemate (this could also be a health and safety/fire hazard and breach your tenancy agreement)

  • Loud past 10pm on week nights

  • Loud past midnight on Friday or Saturday nights

  • Soundproofing the walls and windows (this could also create a fire hazard)

  • Suggesting to your neighbours that they move out for the night - even if you offer to pay for a hotel

Notes: 1 -- The page cited above is part of the UoB web site and is managed by them, so may be changed without notice. If there is any discrepancy between the live page and my excerpt, then the live text prevails. I will check from time to time; if anyone notices a discrepancy, please email thenoisepages@gmail.com.

            2 -- Students may also be subject to "quiet" clauses in their tenancy agreements that cite different times than those adopted by the university (highlighted in blue). 

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Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

 

Most students live in rented accommodation in which several tenants share facilities such as bathrooms, a kitchen and usually a communal living room. All so-called HMOs are subject to legislation as regards fire safety and basic facilities. The largest of them, accommodating five people or more, are also subject to licensing. This is a national scheme that is administered locally by the Private Housing Team at Bristol City Council. Licensees of these "large" or "mandatory" HMOs are additionally subject to conditions and a code of management that require, among other things, that landlords "take reasonable steps to minimise any nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress that may be caused to neighbours by the way the property is used."  Hitherto, mandatory HMO licensing has been limited to houses of more than three storeys. From October 2018, that threshold will be removed, and all HMOs with more than five occupants will need to be licensed, regardless of height. The significance of the HMO legislation in terms of noise is simple: to hold a big party, you need a big house. So the worst of the noise events residents suffer almost always take place in "mandatory" HMOs. Landlords who fail to take the "reasonable steps" noted above can be fined, or could lose their licences. But occupiers also are under legal duties, and could similarly be fined if they ignore them. Principally, they must not "hinder or frustrate the manager in the performance of his duties" . The full wording can be seen in the 2006 regulations cited below. At the time of writing, BCC is working towards the introduction of additional licensing, which means that smaller HMOs not currently part of the mandatory scheme (as expanded from October) will also be subject to licensing on the same or similar terms. The scheme, which awaits approval (see link below), will apply to HMOs in the 12 inner-city wards of Bristol.

Housing Act 2004 ... the main legislation that sets up HMO licensing. See Part 2.

HMO Management Regulations 2006 ... includes duties of occupiers--section 10. See also the Explanatory Note for a reference to action on breaches.

Code of Good Management Practice .... Part of the additional conditions that apply to "mandatory" HMOs in the Bristol area (authorities have some leeway to tailor conditions to the circumstances in their own areas). In addition to the duty highlighted in purple above, the code states: "The landlord agrees to offer occupiers of the immediately neighbouring properties a contact telephone number, address or e-mail address to report any problems."

Bristol City Council consultation on additional HMO licensing ... The consultation closed in May 2018. Responses are now being analysed (June 2018) and the results will be reported publicly later in the year. My own response is here. (Note: my reference to 2007 regulations in relation to duties of occupiers should be to the 2006 regulations cited above.)

Review of Bristol Local Plan ... the Local Plan is the overall planning framework for the city. This consultation (also now closed) was for a selective update of parts of the plan, and included some key references to HMOs and student accommodation. The review will go through further stages and consultation later in 2018. My submission is here.

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Bristol City Council

Private Housing Team (for HMO matters, including obtaining details from the public register of HMO licensees and managing agents). Email: private.housing@bristol.gov.uk ;  phone: 0117 352 1805

Neighbourhood Enforcement (includes noise enforcement). Phone: 0117 922 2500 during office hours -- 5pm Mon - Thu, 4-30pm Friday.

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Residents Associations

Chandos Neighbourhood Association (CNA):
          web site        Facebook page

Redland & Cotham Amenities Society (RCAS):
         
web site        Facebook page

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If you see anything wrong or out of date on this page, or if there is something you would like me to add--for example, details of your residents' association--please email me at  thenoisepages@gmail.com                                                                                                                 .