Tuesday 17 April 2018

Inspecting Houses for Student Occupation: What to Look for and How to Assess them for Housing Standards and Potential Management

This recently revised one day training course provides practical information and expert guidance on how to inspect and assess a student house. 

Suitable for: All those involved in off-street property inspections, assessments and advising students on standards.

Spaces available

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9.30am – 9.40am Registration and Coffee

9.40am - 10.00am Introduction of Delegates

10.00am – 10.40am How to Look at a House: The methodology of inspecting a house in a systematic manner:
- • Deciding what standards you are assessing on: Legal minimum or best practice? The role of accreditation
- • Recording information and writing reports
- • Insurance and personal safety
- • Assessing a property for letting or management
- • What support is available to improve standards?
- Victoria Tolmie-Loverseed, Assistant Chief-Executive - Standards

10.40am – 10.50am Questions and Discussion

10.50am – 11.10am Break (Tea and Coffee provided)

11.10am – 12.20pm Assessing a Property: An introduction to the main housing legislation for shared properties (House of multiple occupation)
- • The Housing Act 2004 (Housing Health and Safety Rating System and HMO Licensing)
- • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- Philip Moxon, Independent Environmental Health Officer

12.20pm - 12.40pm Group Exercise

12.40pm - 1.10pm Assessing a Property continued
- • Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1984
- • Gas safety
- • Electrical safety
- • Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
- • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015
- Philip Moxon, Independent Environmental Health Officer

1.10pm – 1.50pm Lunch (provided) and networking

1.50pm – 3.20pm House Visit. Delegates form groups and visit a house in preparation for compiling a report.

3.20pm - 3.40pm Analysis and Report Preparation. Groups prepare reports on their visits (tea and coffee will be available during this session).

3.40pm – 4.00pm Report Back. A rapporteur from each group gives a resume of their report allowing each group to compare their views with others.

4.00pm - 4.30pm Two Experts’ Views.  Focusing on consumer rights and environmental health. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive, Unipol Student Homes and Philip Moxon

4.30pm – 4.45pm Questions and Concluding Remarks


The majority of second and third year students live in shared student houses in the local community, and this can be of varying standards leading to dissatisfaction and possible risks to the wellbeing and safety of residents. Students and their parents often turn to the university or student union looking for support and intervention, but it can be difficult to know what the role of the institution is and how to respond.

This ‘hands on’ course provides information on:

  • the methodology required to inspect a house and how to get about it
  • what to record
  • hazard identification and outcomes
  • assessing risk
  • identifying disrepair
  • reacting to student management issues
  • checking that licensing standards under the Housing Act 2004 are met
  • a brief introduction to the other main health and safety legislation covering shared houses
  • what role do other agencies play in policing standards and knowing when to refer
  • what role can the university or student union take in improving standards

The day will also provide some insight into the how to make an assessment of the suitability of houses for student occupancy and enable those working with private landlords to advise them correctly on any course of action required.

The day includes a visit to an occupied student house where delegates can apply their learning to a real-life example.

Delegates will be asked to do some preparatory reading before this event and will need to come prepared with information on their local HMO standards (further guidance will be provided).

Please note that the legal content in this course only applies to properties in England.

Feedback from Previous Attendees:

•  “Clearly covering all aspects to a high level”
•  “Very informative and personable - very easy to ask questions”
•  “It helped to have experienced feedback on what we inspected”
•  “Thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed, professional knowledge sharing”
•  “Thank you - I learnt a lot that I can take back to my team!”


Philip Moxon

Philip holds a first degree and following a period of study from 1967-1971, qualified as an Environmental Health Officer became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in 1972. He is currently a Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, a Member of the Royal Society of Health and a Member of the Institute of Housing. Having over 30 years’ experience as a housing professional, Philip previously lectured on a number of graduate and undergraduate courses at Birmingham City University and has become a Visiting Fellow to the School of Housing.

Martin Blakey

Martin has worked in the student accommodation area for over 30 years with a wide experience of all kinds of student housing, from off-street to purpose built properties. Has worked closely with HEIs, Local Authorities, Governments and major supplier to raise housing standard and widen student choice and expectations. As Chief Executive of Unipol, (a charity focusing on student housing) Martin helped develop a portfolio housing 3,000 students in Leeds, provides services to around 15 HEIs, accredits just over 315,000 bed spaces and operates the main training programme for those involved in student accommodation.

Victoria Tolmie-Loverseed

Victoria has worked in the HE and student accommodation sector since 2004, firstly as the Welfare Officer at Leeds University Union. Since then she has worked in all areas of private sector student accommodation including lettings, management, pastoral support and accreditation of standards. She is now responsible for Unipol’s accreditation activity covering 315,000 beds across and UK. She has postgraduate qualifications in property surveying and public health and is a regular speaker at Unipol Training events. She is also a board member at a housing association.

Cost per delegate

Normal Delegate Rate - £285
Friends of Unipol Rate - £250

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