4. Safety and standards
We use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to assess defects within all private rented properties including HMOs. Find further information on property conditions and HHSRS:
All HMOs, whether licensable or not, must comply with HMO Management Regulations. These impose duties on both the person having control of the HMO and in some cases, the person occupying.
There are 2 distinct sets of Management Regulations depending on the type of HMO concerned. These are.
- Statutory Instrument No 372 (2006) – The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
This set covers HMOs that contain shared accommodation such as house sharers, bedsits, hostels and other non self contained accommodation. These types of HMOs are defined under Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.
This set covers HMOs that are buildings converted into self contained flats, as defined under section 257 of the Housing Act 2004.
A national document giving guidance on fire safety precautions has been published by LACORS (Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services). Along with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, we have adopted the principles set out in this document when considering fire precautions in HMOs.
The Fire Safety - Housing guidance now considers the fire precautions required on a risk assessment basis. This means that the landlord is responsible for producing a fire risk assessment for each property individually. The guidance document explains how to carry out a fire risk assessment.
Amenities and space standards needed in an HMO
We require that HMOs have basic levels of amenities. The property must have rooms of a reasonable size and have enough bathrooms, cooking facilities and toilets for the number of people living there. Find more information in the document 'Guidance on HMO Standards'.