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Amenity standards in HMOs

If you are an HMO landlord, read our advice on what standards you need to meet for amenities in your properties.

Kitchens

Legal requirements

If there are no facilities for cooking food:

(a) there must be a kitchen, suitably located in relation to the living accommodation. It has to be equipped with facilities. It must also be the right size and layout to enable those sharing to store, prepare and cook food

(b) the kitchen must have the following equipment. This must be fit for the purpose and there should be enough for the number of people sharing the facilities:

  • sinks with draining boards
  • an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water to each sink supplied
  • installations or equipment for the cooking of food
  • electrical sockets
  • worktops for the preparation of food
  • cupboards for the storage of food or kitchen and cooking utensils
  • refrigerators with an adequate freezer section. (Where the freezer section is not adequate, adequate separate freezers)
  • appropriate rubbish disposal facilities
  • appropriate extractor fans, fire blankets and fire doors.

Our standards

We have adopted the following standards.

  • Shared kitchens must have amenities (sink, fridge, cooker, 1m worktop space). Ratio of one appliance for every 6 tenants.
  • Each cooker in a shared kitchen is to have four rings or burners, and an oven and grill (or equivalent).  Cookers should be safely located with adequate space around them, on a secure surface.
  • In a non-shared kitchen (for example, a bedsit) you must provide a sink; fridge; cooker and worktop as above.  A hob with two rings instead of four will be ok.
  • Kitchens must have four 13 amp electric sockets (plus those needed in non-kitchen areas, for example in bedsits with a kitchen area).
  • Sinks must have safe to drink cold water and a constant supply of hot water. They must be properly connected to the drainage system.
  • Kitchens must be of a suitable, sufficient size. They must be adequately located in relation to the individual lettings in the HMO.

The requirements may vary.

Washing facilities

Legal requirements

Where all or some of the units in an HMO do not include washing and toilet facilities for the exclusive use of each individual household

  1. (a) where there are four or fewer occupiers sharing those facilities there must be at least one bathroom with a fixed bath or shower and a toilet (which may be in the bathroom)
  2. (b) where there are five or more occupiers sharing those facilities there must be -
  • one separate toilet with wash hand basin with appropriate splash back for every five sharing occupiers
  • at least one bathroom (which may have a toilet) with a fixed bath or shower for every five sharing occupiers

All baths, showers and wash hand basins must have taps giving an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water.

All bathrooms must be suitably and adequately heated and ventilated.

All bathrooms and toilets must be of an adequate size and layout.

All baths, toilets and wash hand basins in an HMO must be fit for the purpose.

All bathrooms and toilets must be near the living accommodation.

Our standards

  • The character of properties in Guildford is such that wash basins are not normally needed in bedrooms.  This may be a licence condition for some layouts (such as where the bathroom is not easily accessible).
  • Each room containing a toilet must have a wash basin with constant hot and cold water and a splashback. It must be connected to the foul water drainage system.
  • Baths or showers and WCs should be provided in a ratio of one appliance for every 5 occupants.
  • The WC should be in a separate room to the main bathroom. Where this is not possible, we will look at each property on a case by case basis. 
  • A second WC within a bathroom would be acceptable.
  • Washbasins, showers and baths must be provided with a constant supply of hot and cold water. They must be properly connected to the drainage system.