October 6, 2023 4:59 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

The Management of HMO (England) Regulations 2006 imposes the responsibility of maintaining a high standard of management on individuals managing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). These regulations outline the specific duties required under this legislation.

The Council conducts proactive inspections of HMOs as part of its program. If the inspected properties do not meet the required standards, landlords or owners are obligated to make improvements. It’s important to note that these Regulations apply to all HMOs, regardless of whether they require a license. However, they do not extend to buildings that have been converted into self-contained flats. For such conversions that do not comply with appropriate building standards and have less than two-thirds of the self-contained flats owner-occupied, a separate set of regulations, The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007, is applicable.


What is an HMO? 

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property shared by 3 or more unrelated tenants who share facilities like bathrooms and kitchens. If you plan to rent out an HMO in England or Wales, contact your council to confirm if a license is required.

A license is necessary for large HMOs in England or Wales, defined as follows:

  • Rented to 5 or more people from more than one household.
  • Tenants share bathroom, toilet, or kitchen facilities.
  • At least one tenant pays rent (or it’s paid by their employer).

Various accommodations can be considered HMOs, including:

  • Student housing
  • Bedsits
  • Hostels
  • Guesthouses
  • Houses with lodgers

Generally, if three or more unrelated people share facilities like a bathroom or kitchen, it’s considered an HMO.


HMO management regulations


1. Duty to provide information to occupier 

The manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing their name, address, and contact number(s) to each household in the HMO.
  • Clearly displaying this information in a prominent location within the HMO.


2. Duty to take safety measures 

Here are the manager’s responsibilities regarding fire safety in the HMO:

  1. Keep all fire escape routes clear and well-maintained.
  2. Ensure fire-fighting equipment and alarms are in good working order.
  3. Display fire escape notices in visible locations for occupants.
  4. Take reasonable measures to protect occupants from harm based on design, structure, and occupancy:
  • Secure unsafe roofs or balconies.
  • Install bars or safeguards on windows with low sills.


3. Duty to maintain water supply and drainage 

Here are the manager’s responsibilities regarding water supply and drainage in the HMO:


  1. Maintain the water supply and drainage in good, clean, and working condition. This includes:
  • Keeping water storage tanks and cisterns clean and functional with proper covers.
  • Protecting water fittings from frost damage.
  1. Avoid unreasonable interruptions to the water supply or drainage.


Duty to supply and maintain gas and electricity

Here are the manager’s responsibilities regarding gas safety, electrical installations, and utility supply:

  1. Provide the latest Gas Safety Certificate within 7 days of receiving a written request from the local authority. This certificate should confirm the testing of gas appliances by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  2. Ensure that fixed electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified electrical engineer at intervals of no more than 5 years. Obtain a certificate from the engineer detailing the test results and provide this certificate to the local authority within 7 days of receiving a written request.
  3. Avoid causing unreasonable interruptions to the gas or electricity supply.


HMO occupiers’ duties

Occupiers of the property have specific responsibilities, which include:

  1. Avoiding actions that obstruct the manager from fulfilling their responsibilities.
  2. Granting the manager access to units at reasonable times to carry out their duties.
  3. Providing necessary information to the manager to support their responsibilities.
  4. Taking reasonable precautions to prevent damage to items the manager is responsible for supplying, maintaining, or repairing.
  5. Properly storing and disposing of litter according to the manager’s instructions.
  6. Following reasonable instructions related to fire escape routes and fire safety measures.


HMO fines and do you need an HMO licence?

To rent out your property as an HMO in England or Wales, contact your council to determine if a licence is required. Generally, large HMOs need licences unless they qualify for an exemption. Licences are valid for up to 5 years and must be renewed. Each HMO you own requires a separate licence.

You must have a licence for large HMOs if:

  1. It’s rented to 5 or more people from different households.
  2. Some or all tenants share bathroom, toilet, or kitchen facilities.
  3. At least 1 tenant pays rent.

Ensure HMO compliance, including preventing overcrowding and providing adequate facilities. You’re responsible for communal area repairs.

Penalties vary by council and may include:

  1. Prosecution with unlimited fines.
  2. Rent repayment orders, allowing tenants to reclaim up to 12 months’ rent.
  3. Management orders, enabling the council to take over HMO management.



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