Managing a HMO property comes with a set of legal obligations that landlords must adhere to in order to ensure the health and safety of their tenants. These obligations include providing information to occupiers, maintaining fire safety measures, water supply and drainage, gas and electricity, common parts and appliances, living accommodation, waste disposal facilities, and more.
In this article, we will explore these HMO management rules in detail and why they are crucial for landlords to take seriously. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in serious consequences for the landlord, including fines, legal action, and damage to their reputation. Additionally, maintaining a safe and habitable HMO can attract and retain tenants, contribute to a better community, and increase the potential rental income for the landlord.
Duty of HMO Manager to Provide Information to Occupier
- The HMO Manager (the person managing the HMO) must provide each household with their name, address, and telephone contact number.
- The details must be displayed prominently in the HMO.
Duty of HMO Manager to Take Safety Measures
- The HMO Manager must keep all fire escape routes free from obstruction and maintain them in good order and repair.
- Fire fighting equipment and fire alarms must also be maintained in good working order.
- Notices indicating the fire escape routes must be displayed in positions that are clearly visible to the occupiers. There is an exemption if a HMO has four or fewer occupiers.
- The HMO Manager must take measures to protect the occupiers from injury, considering the design, structural conditions, and number of occupiers in the HMO.
- The HMO Manager must make sure that any unsafe roof or balcony is made safe or prevent access to it.
- Windows with sills at floor level must be equipped with bars or other safeguards to prevent accidents.
Duty of HMO Manager to Maintain Water Supply and Drainage
- The HMO Manager must maintain the water supply and drainage system in good, clean, and working condition.
- Drinking water storage tanks, cisterns, or similar receptacles must be kept in good, clean, and working condition with a cover.
- Water fittings that can be damaged by frost must be protected from frost damage.
- The HMO Manager must not cause or permit the water or drainage supply to be interrupted.
Duty of HMO Manager to Supply and Maintain Gas and Electricity
- The HMO Manager must supply the local housing authority with the latest gas appliance test certificate within 7 days of receiving a request.
- The HMO Manager must inspect and test every fixed electrical installation every five years and supply the certificate to the local housing authority within 7 days of request.
- The HMO Manager must not cause the gas or electricity supply to be interrupted.
Duty of HMO Manager to Maintain Common Parts, Fixtures, Fittings, and Appliances
- The HMO Manager must maintain all common parts of the HMO in good and clean decorative repair, safe and working condition, and reasonably clear from obstruction.
- Handrails and bannisters must be kept in good repair and condition.
- The HMO Manager must ensure that any gas appliances, electrical installations, and water heating appliances are safe and in good working order.
- Staircases, landings, halls, passages, and means of escape must be kept well-lit and free from obstructions.
Duty of HMO Manager to Maintain Living Accommodation
- The HMO Manager has a duty to ensure that the living accommodation and furniture supplied with it are in clean and good condition.
- The HMO Manager must ensure that the living accommodation is in clean condition at the start of the occupier’s tenancy.
- The HMO Manager must make sure that the internal structure of the living accommodation is in good repair and that any fixtures, fittings, or appliances within it are also maintained in good repair and clean working order. The windows and other means of ventilation must also be kept in good repair.
- The HMO Manager is not responsible for repairs that arise due to the occupier’s misuse of the living accommodation. Furniture, fixtures, fittings, or appliances that the occupier is entitled to remove from the HMO are also not within the manager’s control.
Duty to Provide Waste Disposal Facilities
- The HMO Manager must provide enough bins or other suitable containers for each household to store their refuse and litter until it can be disposed of. The HMO Manager must also make arrangements for the disposal of refuse and litter, taking into account the local authority’s disposal services.
Why take these HMO management rules seriously?
It is crucial for HMO landlords and HMO managers to take these HMO management rules seriously, as they are not just legal obligations, but also serve to ensure the health and safety of the occupiers. A failure to comply with these regulations can result in serious consequences for the landlord, including fines, legal action, and a tarnished reputation.
Furthermore, a well-maintained and safe HMO not only provides a better living environment for the occupiers, but it also helps to attract and retain tenants, thereby increasing the potential rental income for the landlord. A safe and habitable HMO also helps to create a positive image for the surrounding area and contributes to the overall quality of life for the residents.
HMO landlords who take HMO management rules seriously not only protect the health and safety of their tenants, but also contribute to a better community and maintain a positive reputation as a responsible landlord. Failing to comply with these regulations could result in serious consequences, so it is essential for HMO landlords and HMO managers to prioritise these obligations.
If you’re looking for a specialist HMO letting agent and HMO management company in South London or for expert HMO advice, contact us.