Houses In Multiple Occupation (HMO) Regulations Explained

What Is Homes In Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

In the majority of cases, an HMO is a flat or house where two household live as their only residence and where both households share a communal bathroom, kitchen, and toilet. Other types of HMO are converted buildings, for example, self-contained flats, buildings where the basic facilities are lacking, and buildings, which include self-contained flats and are meeting certain criteria.

Management Regulations

The following regulations apply to all HMOs irrespective if they require a license or not:

  • The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 (England).
  • The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2007 (Additional provisions)(England).

These Regulations Impose The Following Duties On The Manager Of The HMO Property:

  • Particulars like name, address, and phone number of the manager and it must be clearly visible in each household.
  • Ensure that proper fire safety precautions are in place. Safety equipment must be maintained, and escape routes are free from obstacles. A record must be kept of fire alarm tests and maintenance works.
  • Supplying and maintaining gas and electricity. All fixed installations are to be inspected and tested by a qualified technician at least once every five years and a certificate obtained. A gas engineer must carry out an annual gas safety check and records must be kept of all gas inspections and maintenance works.
  • Maintaining of drainage and water supply systems – this includes protecting pipes from frost as well as prevention the water supply from contamination.
  • Maintaining all common appliances, fixtures, and parts – Equipment must be kept safe, clean, and in good working order and free from obstacles. Special attention must be paid to banisters, handrails, light fittings, stair coverings, windows, and other methods of ventilation. This includes yards, gardens, outbuildings, gates, and boundary walls or fences. Functional cooking and washing facilities must be available. Check out HMO mortgages for more info on the subject.
  • Maintaining the living accommodation – the interior structure of every room must be maintained and kept in good repair. Every room with supplied furniture must be in a clean condition at the start of the tenants’ occupation.
  • Providing waste disposal amenities – this includes suitable waste bins for council’s collection service.

The regulations necessitate that the specified standards of management be achieved and maintained at all times. If a manager does not meet these standards, the Council can prosecute instantly with an unlimited fine for the conviction of every breach of regulations found.

Tenant Accountabilities

Tenants also have accountabilities under the regulations that permit managers to fulfill their legal commitments. Tenants must:

  • Allow the manager with access at reasonable times and offer him the necessary information to be able to carry out his obligations.
  • Adhere to the manager’s arrangements with relation to fire escape and storing and disposing of refuse.
  • Keeping accommodation in a satisfactory manner and taking reasonable care not to damage property.
  • Act in a social and reasonable manner so that no damage is caused to the property and no nuisance is caused to fellow tenants or interfere with the manager’s duties in any way.

For more information, the full management of HMO regulations 2006 can be viewed online, or you can get in contact with the private sector housing team.

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