Summary of HMO regulations

Who the regulations apply to

The manager/person responsible for managing the house shall ensure that the requirements of The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 are met. Similar rules exist for self-contained flats in separate legislation. The manager may be the owner, person in control, person receiving rent, agent or any other specially designated person.

Areas covered by these regulations

  • The manager must ensure that his/her contact details are provided to the occupants and displayed within the property in the case of an emergency.
  • The manager must ensure that means of escape from fire such as the escape route are kept free from obstruction and maintained in good order and repair and where necessary provide notices. Fire-fighting equipment and fire alarm systems are to be maintained in good working order.
  • Take reasonable measure to protect the tenants from injury which may be caused by the design and structural conditions of the property and the number of people occupying it, e.g. safeguard low level windows, unsafe balconies, etc.
  • Water supply and drainage should be maintained in good working order and repair.
  • Gas and electrical supplies and installations should be maintained in good working order and in constant supply. A gas safety certificate must be available where applicable and supplied on request by the Council. Fixed electrical installation must be inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified and competent person and a certificate to be obtained, which may be requested by the Council.
  • Common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances must be maintained in good and clean decorative repair, maintained in a safe and working condition and kept reasonably clear from obstruction, e.g. banisters and handrails, stair coverings, windows, lighting, gardens and yards, walls and fences, etc.
  • Living accommodation, and installations and appliances provided should be kept clean and in good repair and order. Each room should be in a clean condition at the beginning of the tenant’s occupation of it. Windows and ventilation should be maintained in good order.
  • Provision should be made for adequate disposal of refuse and litter.

Failure to comply may result in prosecution, which incurs a possible unlimited fine.

Tenants responsibilities and duties

  • Tenants also have responsibilities under the Regulations, which allow managers to fulfil their legal obligations. Tenants should:
    Allow access to the manager at reasonable times and provide necessary information to carry out their management duties.
    Comply with the manager’s arrangements for means of escape from fire and storage and disposal of refuse.
    Keep the accommodation in an acceptable manner and take reasonable care so as not to damage the property.
    Behave in a reasonable and social manner so as not to damage the property and cause a nuisance to other tenants or inconvenience the manager’s duties.