The Housing Act 2004 defines your property as an HMO if it meets any of the following criteria:
- A house or flat that is let to three or more unrelated tenants, who share a kitchen, bathroom, or toilet.
- A building which has been converted entirely into self contained flats, and that conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations, where more than 1/3 of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
- The property must be the tenant's main home or principle address.
Properties let to migrant workers or students will be treated as their only home. It is important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list. If you would like advice or help to decide whether your property, or a property that you manage, is an HMO, please contact us.
The council aims to ensure that all residents living in the Borough have a home that provides a safe and healthy environment, that is free from any hazards that have the potential to pose a health and safety risk to any occupier or visitor.
The Management of HMOs
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 impose duties on a person managing an HMO in respect of:
- The provision of appropriate information for all occupiers, for example: ensuring signs displaying the contact details of the Landlord are made available to each household in the HMO. Such details should be clearly displayed in a prominent position in the HMO.
- Ensuring the HMO has adequate safety measures, for example, relating to fire precautions and appropriate methods of fire detection where necessary. The manager must ensure that all means of escape from fire in the HMO are kept free from obstruction, and maintained in good order and repair. The person responsible for the management of the property must ensure that any fire fighting equipment and fire alarms are maintained and in good working order.
- The person responsible for the management of the property must maintain the property in a reasonable condition. For example, all fixtures, fittings and appliances, lighting in communal areas, windows, doors and gardens need to be maintained in good order and repair.
- The person responsible for the management of the property must ensure the provision and maintenance of gas, and/or electrical supplies, and all fire system installations, and obtain the relevant safety certificates.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
All properties, including HMOs are subject to the HHSRS. HHSRS is a comprehensive risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and safety of occupants in residential properties in England and Wales and is used to ensure housing standards are met.
There are 29 hazards that can be taken into consideration including:
- Fire Safety
- Damp and Mould
- Excess Cold
- Electrical Safety
- Falls on Stairs
Additionally, there are other requirement levels of basic amenities for HMOs, these are: the Welwyn Hatfield Amenity Standards for Licensable and Non-licensable Houses in Multiple Occupation and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.