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Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Managing a HMO

The manager of an HMO has a duty to properly manage that property under The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007.

These regulations exist to ensure that the person having control of the HMO manages the property effectively, keeps the property in a good state of repair, maintains facilities in proper working order and takes steps to reduce the risk of any injury.

In brief, the regulations state that:

  • The manager is to provide their name, address and telephone number to all occupiers. This is to be displayed in a prominent position in the dwelling.
  • All means of escape from fire and kept clear from any obstruction
  • Fire alarms and any provided fire-fighting equipment are maintained
  • All reasonable steps are taken to protect the safety of the occupiers. This includes protecting them from electrical, gas and other safety risks such as children falling from windows with low sills.
  • The water supply is maintained, tanks covered and fittings protected from frost.
  • The drainage system, including rainwater drainage, is maintained
  • A copy of the gas safety certificate is to be supplied within seven days of it being requested
  • Likewise with the electrical wiring test, it is to be supplied within seven days of it being requested. The wiring should be tested at no less than five yearly intervals
  • The manager is to ensure that the common parts and fittings of the HMO are in good working order, clean, repaired when needed and free from any obstruction. This includes hand rails, windows, appliances, light fittings, stair carpets etc.
  • Common part lighting is to be adequate and available at all times (this includes replacing missing or defective bulbs)
  • Common outbuildings, garden spaces, sheds etc. are to be maintained
  • Boundary walls and fences are kept in safe and good order
  • The doors to each lettable room are kept in good order and are compliant with British Standards.
  • Proper facilities are provided for the storage and disposal of refuse.

Landlords or managers of HMOs failing to comply with these regulations may be prosecuted by the Council.