HMO: What it means for you

6 Feb


HMO: What it means for you

Many people will find themselves living in an HMO property at some point in their lives.  We’ve made a list of things you should know if you’re living in one so you know what you can expect from your landlord, what your landlord can expect from you, and how to make sure your living arrangements stay secure and safe.

  • HMO stands for Houses in Multiple Occupation. You probably live in an HMO property if you live with more than two people you are not related to.
  • Landlords need a specific license to operate an HMO property. To operate without one is illegal and could result in a £50,000 fine.  Before you move into a property with more than two people you should make sure that your landlord has the appropriate licenses – don’t be afraid to ask to see them!
  • The landlord of an HMO property has certain responsibilities they must meet in order to retain their license. These include:
    • making sure your gas, electricity, heating and water supplies are adequate and well maintained;
    • making sure the communal/shared areas of the property are in working order (such as kitchens and bathrooms);
    • ensuring the roof and windows are water-tight; and
    • providing necessary waste facilities (e.g. bins).
  • In turn, tenants have certain responsibilities they must adhere to when living in an HMO property:
    • They must behave in accordance with the terms set out in your contract. This usually includes not annoying your neighbours and keeping the property in good condition.  The usual stuff!
    • They must also allow the landlord to perform inspections, so long as the landlord provides 24 hours’ notice.

HMO properties are great when you want to live with your friends, only plan to be in a property for a short amount of time, or are living in student accommodation.  HMO licenses protect you as a tenant and also provide the landlord with reassurances that you’ll look after the property.  Always remember – if you have a problem with your property the first thing you should do is go to your landlord.   They can’t help if they don’t know there’s a problem!