Private sector housing

HMO Management Regulations

There are management regulations that place additional duties on HMO owners, managers and tenants. Strict fire regulations apply to HMO properties to ensure that landlords and managing agents control the range of health and safety risks that are more significant in HMOs. The HMO Management Regulations 2006 apply to both licensable and non-licensable HMOs and include the following:

  • repair, maintenance and cleanliness of communal areas, including gardens
  • provision and management of waste disposal facilities
  • repair and maintenance of fixtures, fittings and appliances in communal areas such as:
    • stairs
    • handrails
    • ventilation systems
    • heating appliances
  • provision of services:
    • water
    • drainage
    • electricity
    • gas

The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 apply to buildings that:

  • have been converted into self-contained flats and the conversion did not meet the 1991 Building Regulation standards
  • have more than one-third of the flats let on short term tenancies

Fire regulations

A good standard of fire safety is required in all types of HMO, whether or not a licence is required. Landlords are required to carry out a fire risk assessment to identify the risks and remove these where possible. When a risk cannot be completely removed then reasonable and practicable measures are to be taken to reduce that risk as much as possible and the remaining risk is to be appropriately managed. In addition, clear instructions on what actions are to be taken in case of fire must be documented and copies provided to tenants.

The landlord is required by law to protect tenants from the risk of fire. This is enforced under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, together with other partners, have produced a Guide to Fire Safety in Houses in Multiple Occupation. In addition to advice and guidance, you will find examples of a completed and blank (template) fire risk assessment (from page 67), and fire precaution records (from page 65).