We are responsible for checking Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to ensure they are in a satisfactory condition and are safe. The check will also ensure they have a satisfactory means of escape from fire, have sufficient bathrooms and kitchens and have adequate space and proper management.
What is a HMO?
A house in multiple occupation is a house occupied by people who do not form a single household. Examples include:
- a house let as individual bedsitting rooms
- a group of rooms on each floor let to single occupants
- hostels, some hotels and guesthouses
- lodgings and shared houses
- houses converted into self-contained flats
The following are not classed as HMOs:
- resident landlords with two separate tenants
- houses converted entirely into self-contained flats on or after 1 June 1992 or complies with the Building Regulations 1991 approval, where at least one third are owner occupied
- houses subject to control orders
- registered providers (such as housing associations)
- houses registered under the Children Act 1989 or Registered Homes Act 1984
- educational establishments
- health service accommodation
- local council owned property
What are the standards?
A HMO will have to meet the council’s standards. These standards include:
- adequate means of escape in case of fire and other fire precautions
- adequate facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms, toilets and wash hand basins
- requirements on the number of occupants, in respect of the number and size of rooms
- general housing conditions
- management standards
- gas safety
- furniture fire safety
Fair rents inspections
The council has no input to determining what is a fair rent for your property, other than what is a reasonable sum for housing benefit.
If you are a landlord or a tenant the following may be useful:
Please contact Environmental Health and Housing on 01724 297000 for further information with regards to the licensing of a House of Multiple Occupation as this information is currently being reviewed.