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Rules for landlords of HMOs

Do you own an HMO where at least five people live, forming two or more households? If so, you must have a licence and meet a set of important safety and amenity standards.

All HMO landlords must:

  • follow our set standards for room sizes, kitchens and bathrooms 
  • follow fire safety guidance from the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS). See the Housing - Fire Safety Guidance on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) website
  • install smoke alarms and fire-fighting equipment
  • install carbon monoxide alarms where there is a solid fuel appliance. See Gov.UK's Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms booklet for landlords 
  • keep fire escapes in repair and free from obstruction
  • give contact details to the people living in the HMO
  • take steps to make sure people living in the HMO are not hurt by its structural condition
  • make sure there is good drainage from the HMO 
  • make sure there is water supply and the supply is not unreasonably interrupted
  • supply us with annual gas safety certificates (if the HMO has gas) when asked
  • carry out safety checks on electrical installations every five years
  • make sure the supply of gas (if any) and electricity is not unreasonably interrupted
  • keep the HMO's shared areas in good condition (including decorative repair) 
  • keep each person's separate living area in good condition, including fixtures and fittings
  • maintain shared gardens
  • keep in repair any outbuildings or fences belonging to the HMO
  • provide suitable facilities for getting rid of rubbish.

For more information, visit: Gov.UK's Private renting web page.

Rules for people living in an HMO

If you live in an HMO you must:

  • not make it hard or stop your landlord carrying out their duties
  • take care not to damage anything which the landlord has a duty to repair, maintain, keep in good order or supply
  • get rid of rubbish using the landlord's advice
  • follow all reasonable fire safety instructions given by the manager.

Fines for failure to meet duties

You, or your landlord, can be fined up to £30,000 if you don't follow the rules.