2014 List of HMO Properties in Bournemouth

Rob Stevenson made this Freedom of Information request to Bournemouth Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Bournemouth Borough Council,

Please can you provide me with the following information under the
Freedom Of Information Act 2000:

1) Addresses of all Registered Residential HMO properties that are
within Bournemouth Borough Council area; and

2) The names of the owners of those properties referred to in (1)

3) Which of the above properties have 6 or more occupants/rooms

Yours faithfully,

Mr R Stevenson

Enquiries CED, Bournemouth Borough Council

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Meanwhile you may find the information you require on our website.
[1]www.bournemouth.gov.uk

Kind Regards,

Customer Service team

Bournemouth Borough Council

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Leigh Hayler, Bournemouth Borough Council

This message has been hidden. WhatDoTheyKnow has been asked to hide this response by the Information Commissioner. As far as we are aware the response contains a correct and accurate copy of the council's HMO register. More details will be provided in an annotation. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Leigh Hayler, Bournemouth Borough Council

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Leigh Hayler, Bournemouth Borough Council

2 Attachments

 

 

Information Request – Freedom of Information Act

 

Further to your request for information received on 09.10.14, where you
asked for the following information:

1) Addresses of all Registered Residential HMO properties that are within
Bournemouth Borough Council area; and

2) The names of the owners of those properties referred to in (1)

3) Which of the above properties have 6 or more occupants/rooms

please find attached an updated version of your request.

 

The information supplied to you is subject to copyright protection under
the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it (not
including logos) for non-commercial purposes. You must re-use it
accurately and not in a misleading context, and acknowledge us as your
source. Re-use for commercial purposes may require a licence. Initial
enquiries about re-using all or part of this information for commercial
purposes should be directed to the Council’s Corporate Information
Compliance Officer who can be contacted by email at
[1][email address], or in writing to:

 

Bournemouth Borough Council

Legal Services

Bourne Avenue

Bournemouth

BH2 6DY

 

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the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Contact details for the Information Commissioner can be found at:
[4]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Leigh Hayler
Senior Business Support Officer
Housing, Parks & Bereavement Services
T: 01202 458313 W: [5][email address]

 

[6]http://biz/ichub/PublishingImages/Bourne...

 

 

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A manager/landlord whose home address is included in the material released has contacted us asking us to remove their address.

We at WhatDoTheyKnow.com have carefully considered the case put forward and have decided to continue to publish the material as we consider our continued publication is reasonable, justified and fair.

The council has, apparently in response to contact from this individual, released a much more restricted excerpt from the council's HMO register. We note that many councils release the register in full, including the names and addresses of licencees and managers.

--

Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Leigh Hayler, Bournemouth Borough Council

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Mark Law left an annotation ()

I am the HMO landlord/manager mentioned in Richard Taylor’s annotation on 25 January 2016. Maybe I can publicly add some clarity to this issue. Through no fault of my own my home address was released in addition to my business address. I have repeatedly asked whatdotheyknow.com to correct this mistake. I have specifically said that I have no problem with my business address being on the register. I’m not an HMO landlord trying to hide I simply would like my personal data respected by whatdotheyknow.com and handled in an manner that is in line with the data protection act. Richard hasn’t replied to my last two emails (and questions), he has just posted on 25 January without informing me that he will continue to publish my personal data. I’m a landlord that works with councils and Bournemouth Borough Council have been great, I’m only sorry that I’ve taken up their time dealing with this website. The continued publication of my personal address in addition to my business address (on an out of date register) is in my opinion not reasonable, justified or fair.

Leigh Hayler, Bournemouth Borough Council

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

On the 12th of May 2016 the Information Commissioner told WhatDoTheyKnow.com that he expected us to take the following steps:

"Remove the original spreadsheet, issued by the Council on 10 October 2014, from the correspondence relating to the request published on WDTK within 14 days of receipt of this email."

This is a significant occurrence; it is the first time in 332,270 requests to 17,068 authorities that the Information Commissioner has asked us to remove a substantive Freedom of Information response from our website.

The law in the UK does not give a right to publish Freedom of Information responses. In running our service we often face requests to take material down citing data protection law, copyright, confidentiality, libel and more. Dealing with these requests takes a great deal of time and effort from the service's volunteer administrators, volunteer trustees, and staff and management at mySociety.

We complied with the Information Commissioner's request on the 13th of May 2016 as had we not complied the Information Commissioner may have imposed a penalty or taken other action.

As far as we know the material released, and now no longer published by us, was an accurate copy of the council's HMO register.

We are surprised that the Information Commissioner has asked us to remove much more material than the address of the HMO manager who claimed their address had been provided in-confidence to the council and shouldn't have appeared on the register.

When the Information Commissioner contacted us about the claim from an individual we let them know that the council hadn't confirmed to us the address had been included in the register error and we suggested they might be able to help us by investigating and seeking clarification from the council. The Information Commissioner did not investigate but took the HMO manager's claims at face value, and inexplicably deemed the council's provision of a new response to be supportive of the claim made.

If at any point we had been shown the address was included on the register in error we would have been happy to remove it.

On the question of the removal of material far in excess of the address in question the Information Commissioner stated: "in the circumstances of this case the probability is that the legitimate interests of the general public can be met by the disclosure of the revised spreadsheet disclosed by the Council in January 2016"

The Information Commissioner has arbitrarily decided that there is no legitimate interest the publication of material including the full names of HMO licensees, HMO licensees' addresses, HMO managers' names and addresses, details of the property's usage eg. student accommodation, residential hotel, restaurant etc., numbers of permitted households and numbers of bedrooms, flats, toilets kitchens and bathrooms.

The Information Commissioner dismissed arguments made by WhatDoTheyKnow for continuing to publish the information and stated the journalism exemption in the Data Protection Act cannot generally be applied to WhatDoTheyKnow's activities.

When we wrote to the Information Commissioner we noted Section 232 of the Housing Act 2004 requires registers of certain HMOs to be maintained and made available for inspection and many councils proactively make their registers available online. The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 place duties on managers of HMOs. As demonstrated by requirement for the registers, and the duties placed on managers, landlords and licensees, the act of owning, renting and managing certain houses of multiple occupancy is a regulated activity in our society; it's not something we let people do entirely personally and privately. We see a parallel with being on the GMC register as a doctor for example; doctors are on the register as individuals, as regulated professionals and we now, via councils, apply a regulatory regime to HMO landlords (and managers).

Our view is making names and contact details of those responsible for HMOs accessible makes it easier to tackle
problems which can be associated with such living arrangements, from noise nuisance through to matters such as gas and fire safety which could impact many people and could relate to matters where lives are at risk or there is potential for injury or illness.

We explained to the Information Commissioner that we do not always know how material published on WhatDoTheyKnow.com has been used. Correspondence threads on WhatDoTheyKnow are often used to support news articles, campaigning, activism, lobbing of elected representatives, academic research and more. While we are happy to remove material from our website when doing so is justified we are mindful that excessive removal of material can "pull the rug from under" those who have taken action based on the material published, and can make it harder for others to access and use the material in the future.

Currently we are not intending to take any further action in this case, largely on the basis we don't know the facts, the council hasn't told us if the address was included on the register in error, and the Information Commissioner hasn't investigated to find out. Our limited resources to take things further will be better reserved for future cases.

As for our correspondence with Mr Law, mentioned in his above annotation, we considered the case made to us for removing the address, made an assessment and made a decision which we communicated to Mr Law, with our reasons. When Mr Law remained unhappy we suggested he write to the Information Commissioner. We received three messages from Mr Law on the 19th of January 2016, we replied to one of them, the others didn't appear to require a separate reply particularly given we had already suggested Mr Law contact the ICO if he remained unhappy.

--
Richard WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer