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Regulations for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), including those not subject to licensing


This page explains some of the key legislation that must be adhered to when managing or renting an HMO, whether licensable or not. 


Is my property an HMO? Click here to find out.

If my property is an HMO, does it require a licence? Click here to find out.


HMO Legislation


All HMOs, regardless of whether they are licensable or not, are subject to legislation about how they are managed. There are two main pieces of management legislation; the first being the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the second the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007.


This legislation places certain duties on the individuals managing the property. The duties include the following:

  • To provide all occupiers with the manager's name, address and telephone number, this information must be clearly displayed within in the property
  • To ensure that all fire escapes are clear of any obstacles and that they are kept in good order, to ensure that all fire safety measures are maintained in good working order and that adequate fire safety measures are in place with regards to the design, structural conditions and number of occupiers in the HMO
  • The manager must maintain adequate water supply and drainage to the dwelling
  • The manager must not unreasonably cause the electric and gas supply to be interrupted
  • The manager must ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested by a suitably qualified person, at intervals not exceeding five years
  • The manager must provide the electrical and gas inspection certificates within seven days of receiving a request of writing from the local housing authority
  • To ensure that all common parts of the HMO are maintained in good decorative order, and safe and working condition. This includes out-buildings, boundaries and gardens
  • The manager must ensure each unit of living accommodation and its contents are clean before occupiers move in and are maintained in good repair and clean working order throughout the occupation by the tenant
  • The manager must provide adequate facilities to dispose of all waste produced by the property

This legislation also puts responsibility on the tenant to:

  • Allow the manager access to the accommodation at all reasonable times to carry out the above duties
  • Conduct themselves in a way that will not hinder or frustrate the manager in the performance of their duties
  • Take reasonable care to avoid damaging the landlord's property.
  • Store and dispose of waste properly
  • Comply with reasonable instructions regarding fire safety at the property

If an individual fails to comply with the regulatory conditions it can be dealt with as a criminal offence by the Local Authority. They could be tried in a Magistrate's Court and if convicted could be fined up to 5000 per offence.


Ensuring Healthy, Safe Houses


In addition to the management legislation, the Housing Act 2004 covers all rented accommodation within the UK. Amongst other things the Act concentrates on health and safety in the house. An assessment system has been put in place to evaluate risks in residential property known as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).


It is not expected that all landlords will be familiar with this system at present, but if a Local Authority Officer assesses the property using the HHSRS they may require works to be done to the property to reduce the risk to health.


The Local Authority will often try to resolve the problems informally with a landlord following assessment of the property. Where this fails and in certain other circumstances formal notices may be served on landlords requiring them to do works to resolve problems within a strict time limit. If the landlord does not comply with the notice then they may be tried in a court and if convicted may be fined up to 5000 per offence.

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