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What is a HMO?

What Classifies as a HMO?

In the UK, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a type of rental property where three or more people who are not from one “household” share common facilities, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The definition of a “household” varies slightly depending on the specific legislation in the area, but it usually includes members of the same family, married or cohabiting couples, and those in certain types of relationships (e.g. same-sex couples).

Under the Housing Act 2004, a property is classified as an HMO if it meets the following criteria:

  1. It is rented to three or more tenants who form two or more households.
  2. The tenants share at least

Do HMO's Need Different Tenancy Contracts?

in the UK, HMOs generally require different tenancy agreements than other types of rental properties. This is because HMOs have different legal requirements that must be met, both in terms of the property itself and the rights of the tenants.

HMO tenancy agreements typically include clauses that address issues such as the sharing of common areas (such as kitchens and bathrooms), the payment of utilities and other expenses, and the responsibilities of tenants in maintaining the property

What Legal Requirements Apply to a HMO?

There are several legal requirements that apply to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). These include:

  1. Licensing: In many areas, HMOs are required to be licensed by the local council. The exact requirements for licensing vary depending on the area, but typically include safety and amenity standards for the property, as well as conditions for the management of the property.

  2. Fire safety: HMOs are subject to specific fire safety regulations, including the provision of fire alarms, fire doors, and emergency lighting. The regulations also require regular inspections and testing of fire safety equipment.

  3. Gas safety: If the HMO has gas appliances, the landlord must have a gas safety inspection conducted every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

  4. Electrical safety: HMOs must have regular electrical safety inspections conducted by a qualified electrician.

  5. Amenities: HMOs must have adequate facilities for cooking, washing, and toilet use. The exact requirements for amenities depend on the number of occupants and the size of the property.

  6. Management standards: Landlords of HMOs must comply with various management standards, such as ensuring that the property is kept in a good state of repair and responding promptly to tenants’ complaints.

  7. Tenant safety: Landlords of HMOs have a duty to ensure the safety of their tenants, including protecting them from hazards such as damp, mould, and vermin.

The specific legal requirements for HMOs can vary depending on the location and size of the property, so it’s important for landlords to check the relevant regulations and requirements in their area.

Speak To CP Law Associates

CP Law Associates landlord and tenant lawyers provide a free initial consultation and can provide you with advice when it comes to renting out a HMO. Book a free initial consultation below. 

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