Health and safety inspections
Our regulations state that it will be the responsibility of the manager of the HMO to ensure that the following are maintained in good repair, clean condition and good order (including, where appropriate, proper working order):
- Water supply, drainage and general services
- Parts and installations in common use
- Living accommodation
- Lighting, windows and ventilation
- Means of escape from fire
- Outbuildings in common use
It is the duty of each resident to ensure that:
- Allow the manager access, at reasonable times, to any occupied room, that he may carry out his duties
- Provide the manager on request with any relevant information
- Comply with arrangements made by the agent in respect of fire precautions or litter storage or disposal
- Take care not to hinder in any way the agent in the performance of his duties
- Take reasonable care to avoid damaging anything which the agent is under obligation to keep in good repair
The Council has specific powers to use when dealing with HMOs to ensure they are kept in good repair, that there is no overcrowding, that sufficient amenities are provided and that the property is properly managed.
HMOs will need to have the electrical installation and electrical appliances tested by a suitably registered electrician every five years. Gas installations and appliances should be checked and certified by a registered Gas Safe engineer annually. Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates must be made available to the Council, on request, within seven days.
Larger HMOs will require a licence to operate which is issued from the Private Sector Housing department. Generally speaking, this will apply to any HMO of three or more storeys that is occupied by five or more people in two or more households.
Under the HMO Management Regulations 2006, the owner of an HMO is responsible for ensuring that the premises satisfies all the fire, safety and amenity standards applicable to HMOs and that the premises is fit for human habitation.
In summary, these standards are:
- All rooms comply with minimum space standards
- Adequate fixed heating to each habitable room
- Adequate means of escape from fire and other fire precautions
- Provision of NICEIC or ECA issues Electrical Safety Certificate
- Compliance with Furniture and Foam Furnishing Regulations
- Adequate numbers of, and suitably located, electrical socket outlets
- Adequate natural lighting and ventilation to each habitable in accordance with the fitness standard
- Provision of suitable and sufficient baths (or showers) and toilets
- Adequate and suitably located refuse storage bins
- The manager of the property must be a "fit and proper person" (i.e. no record of convictions for benefit fraud, illegal eviction, harassment or certain sex offences).
All HMOs (licensable or otherwise) should also be registered with the local Council.