If you are unsure if you live in an HMO read our article HMO Property Meaning. This article explains what a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) is, how it differs from other types of rental properties, and whether your property needs an HMO licence. Additionally, it provides valuable advice for tenants who are living in unlicensed HMOs.
Responsibilities of HMO Tenants
As a tenant in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), it’s important for you to be aware of your responsibilities to help keep everyone safe and comfortable. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Be respectful to the HMO manager and avoid doing anything that might make their job more difficult.
- Allow the HMO manager to enter your living space at reasonable times for any necessary duties.
- If the HMO manager requests information from you, try to provide it as reasonably as possible.
- Take care to avoid damaging anything that the HMO manager is responsible for maintaining or repairing.
- Follow the rules for storing and disposing of litter as set by the HMO manager.
- In case of fire, comply with the HMO manager’s instructions on using fire equipment and escaping safely.
Tips for an Enjoyable Tenancy with Housemates
Living in an HMO can be a great experience, but it’s important to be mindful of your housemates and the community in which you live. Good communication is key to a successful house share. Make sure to discuss any concerns or issues with your housemates as soon as they arise. Keeping your living space clean and tidy, and being respectful of common areas shared with your housemates, can help to create a positive and harmonious environment.
It is also important to be considerate of your housemates and the surrounding community, including noise levels and respect for personal space. If conflicts do arise, try to find a resolution through open and respectful communication. If needed, consider involving a neutral third party, such as another housemate, to help resolve the issue. In addition, establishing clear boundaries and expectations from the start can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts from arising in the first place.
What HMO Tenants can Expect from Their Landlord
When living in an HMO, it is important to know what you can expect from your landlord. The regulations for HMOs are stricter compared to other types of properties, and your landlord has a number of responsibilities to ensure the safety and well-being of all tenants.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that an HMO must have a valid HMO licence from the local council. This licence serves as proof that the property meets the necessary fire safety, health and safety, and amenity standards. As a tenant, you have the right to request to see the HMO licence, so be sure to ask your landlord if you have not already seen it. Read this if you think you may be living in an unlicensed HMO.
In addition, fire safety is of the utmost importance in an HMO. Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is equipped with appropriate fire safety measures, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire doors. Make sure that these safety measures are in good working order, and that you are familiar with the evacuation plan in case of a fire. If you notice any issues with fire safety, report it to your landlord immediately.
Another important aspect to consider is the maintenance and repair of the property. Your landlord is responsible for keeping the HMO in good condition, and for making any necessary repairs. If you notice any issues with the property, such as a leak or a broken window, report it to your landlord as soon as possible. They should respond promptly and take appropriate action to fix the issue.
Documents an HMO Landlord Must Provide to Tenants
When you move into an HMO, your landlord is required to provide you with certain documents and information to ensure that the property meets all necessary standards and regulations, and that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Below is a list of key documents that an HMO landlord must provide to tenants:
HMO Tenancy Agreement:
The tenancy agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including the rent amount, length of the tenancy, and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. It is important to carefully review and understand the terms of the tenancy agreement before signing it.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):
An EPC is a report that shows how energy efficient the property is, and includes recommendations for reducing energy consumption and costs. This certificate is important to understand the energy performance of the property and to help identify potential ways to reduce energy costs.
Deposit protection information:
Your landlord must protect your deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme. They must provide you with information on the scheme that they have used, including details on how to apply for the return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Current gas safety certificate:
The landlord must provide you with a gas safety certificate, which is a record of the annual gas safety check conducted by a qualified gas engineer. This certificate is important to ensure that the gas appliances in the property are safe to use.
How to Rent Guide:
This guide is produced by the government and provides information on the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in England. Your landlord must provide you with a copy of the most recent version of the How to Rent Guide.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR):
An EICR is a report that shows the condition of the electrical installations in the property, including any potential hazards. This report is important to ensure that the electrical installations in the property are safe to use.
Gas Safety Record:
This document is a record of all gas safety inspections carried out in the property. Your HMO landlord must issue you with a copy of the Gas Safety Record.
It’s important that you receive all of these documents and information when you move into an HMO. This will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and will ensure that the property meets all necessary standards and regulations. If your landlord fails to provide any of these documents, don’t hesitate to ask for them.
Typical HMO House Rules for Tenants
When residing in an HMO, landlords often establish a set of guidelines for their tenants to follow during their tenancy. These rules typically cover the following areas:
- Do not bring in any furniture, appliances or equipment without the landlord’s permission.
- Do not make any alterations or changes to the property without the landlord’s permission.
- Do not use any illegal drugs on the property.
- Keep the communal areas of the property clean, tidy and free from obstructions.
- Do not park your vehicle in a way that blocks access to the property or neighbouring properties.
- Do not engage in any anti-social behaviour such as excessive partying, harassment, or theft.
- Report any maintenance issues to the landlord as soon as possible.
- Do not sublet your room or allow anyone else to stay in the property without the landlord’s permission.
- Do not use the property for any illegal or harmful activities.
Living in an HMO or house share can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it is important to understand your responsibilities as a tenant. By following the guidelines set out by your landlord and being respectful of your housemates, you can create a positive and harmonious living environment. Additionally, it is crucial to be aware of your landlord’s responsibilities, particularly in regards to fire safety and property maintenance. By receiving all necessary documents and information when you move in, you can ensure that the property meets all necessary standards and regulations. Ultimately, with good communication and a sense of community, living in an HMO or house share can lead to long-term relationships and a sense of belonging.
If you need a specialist HMO Letting Agent to let or manage your South London HMO property or require expert HMO guidance and advice, feel free to contact us today.