If you are the landlord of a HMO you have certain legal responsibilities in terms of fire safety measures. Here we take a look at what you need to know if you own a House in Multiple Occupancy.

Firstly, let’s define a property that falls into the category of HMO:

  • There are different rental agreements for each individual tenant within the property
  • The property is bedsit
  • The property is a hostel
  • The property provides student accommodation
  • There are three (or more) unrelated tenants forming the household

Specific Responsibilities

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and 2007 sets out the framework for landlords, and failure to adhere to the policies can result in a fine of up to £5000.

In terms of fire safety in particular you must:

  • Take reasonable steps to ensure tenants are not at risk of injury due to the condition or structure of the property
  • Keep fire escape routes clear for use
  • Maintain and check fire-safety equipment, including extinguishers and fire alarm systems
  • Carry out a thorough fire risk assessment of the property
  • Inspect electrical equipment once every 5 years at least
  • Upon request from local council, supply a gas or electrical safety record within 7 days

There are other legal responsibilities that cover other aspects of a property with multiple tenants, including drainage, shared bathrooms and living spaces, refuse collection, and the exterior of properties.

If you want to find out more about the responsibilities when establishing an HMO, Source Fire can help. We can provide a fire risk assessment of your property and provide you with all the details you need to be compliant with legal regulations.