Would this be HMO?

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    Would this be HMO?

    My student son is planning on moving into a shared house for the forthcoming academic year with three friends, all unrelated, but one of them will be the landlord (ie I gather the situation is that parents are buying the property and the son resident in the property will be the named landlord; i don't know who the actual owners will be, if that makes any difference.)

    House is over 3 floors (ie attic conversion containing two bedrooms).

    Presumably my son will have the status of lodger? But will this property need to be an HMO?


    It will be an hmo due to 4 seperate households. Over 3 floors but less than 5 people means normally it would not be licensable. However many councils have additional licencing in student areas.

    Licenced or not the property will come under hmo legislation so the property will need to be up to scratch for heating, Fire Risk Assessed etc

    And someone will need to be the HMO manager.(Acceptable to the council if licenced).


      It will be an HMO although if in an area without additional licensing the practical effect will be limited. It should probably have internal fire doors and a hard-wired smoke alarm system, amongst other bits and bobs. Could you explain what your concern is? Then we'll be able to help more.

      Originally posted by andybenw View Post
      ....Fire Risk Assessed etc
      Although some form of fire risk assessment is advisable, based on the facts given it's not a legal requirement for this HMO -- see para 35.5 of the LACORS guidance: http://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledg...uidance_08.pdf


        Thanks for the replies.
        Originally posted by JamesHopeful View Post
        Could you explain what your concern is?
        None really - just that with the prospective live-in landlord being a mate of my son's, my son was asking me about the regs. From what I now gather, the property is already a student let and am guessing must already be an HMO, but either way the it sounds like the new owners are going to be doing everything by the book - which is all good by me as regards my kid's safety.


          James, I have to disagree.

          An HMO manager has duties under 2006 HMO act which can only reasonably be covered by completing a fire risk assessment.
          LACOR's makes allowances for shared houses being lower risk. Substantial doors instead of fire doors being the main one. But it still recommends Grade D LD3 system with heat alarms in kitchen and lounge.

          The ONLY way to check current standards of escape routes fire alarms etc is to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment.

          By the way you present LACORS as fact. The fact is LACORS is only guidance, and can be overidden by a properly carried out FRA by a professional advisor.

          And... The fact an HMO is not in a licensable area only limits the practical effects if the landlord does not comply with legislation. It is still an HMO and should still comply with the 2006 act.



            I'm very interested by your post. Some time ago I was agonising over whether I needed a formal fire risk assessment done for my two shared maisonettes (a three-bed and four-bed respectively, let to pre-formed groups of friends -- all very vanilla). Having not been able to find a definitive answer online (including on an LLZ thread), I thought I'd get one done anyway just to be on the safe side. I then phoned a recommended fire risk assessor to commission him to do them, but he insisted that I didn't need one on the grounds that an HMO fire risk assessment didn't apply to shared houses such as mine (which at the time seemed impressively honest of him in turning down my money, although rather unhelpful if he was wrong!). I then found paragraph 35.5 of the LACORS guidance which confirmed what the fire risk assessor said (by the way I am well aware that LACORS -- whilst very useful as good practice advice -- isn't law; however paragraph 35.5 purports to accurately summarise the Fire Safety Order which is law so unless reliably informed otherwise I'll assume that their summary of the legal situation in this regard is accurate). So in the end I didn't get a risk assessment done but I followed the LACORS guidance on fire doors and smoke alarm systems etc. for my type of property.

            If I read your post correctly, you are suggesting that the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 in effect require an HMO manager to run a fire risk assessment. The only thing I can find in there is that is relevant says escape routes need to be kept free from obstruction and maintained in good order and repair, which doesn't seem to amount to a requirement to do a full risk assessment no matter how much I try to read into it. So, at risk of testing your patience, is there any chance you could take me step-by-step through the legal sources which have led you to conclude that all shared houses need a formal fire risk assessment? Given the wild goose chase I went on previously (described above) it'd be very useful to see this issue put to bed once and for all.

            Originally posted by andybenw View Post
            And... The fact an HMO is not in a licensable area only limits the practical effects if the landlord does not comply with legislation. It is still an HMO and should still comply with the 2006 act.
            Many councils start to demand various standards over and above the statutory minimum as part of their HMO licensing regimes, including things such as arbitrarily large room sizes etc. Yes those individual local council standards may still exist for non-licensable HMOs but my understanding is that the landlord would only be in breach of a legal obligation if the council chooses to enforce (which 99% of the time they won't for non-licensable HMOs).


              I would question how an HMO manager could keep escape routes clear and keep fire alarm systems correctly maintained without firstly having had a Fire Risk Assessment completed.

              Now, that risk assessment could be completed by the HMO manager himself instead of a professional(made much easier due to LACORs) , but in my opinion it certainly needs doing.

              If there were a fire and subsequent death, I very much doubt the courts would look favourably on an HMO manager who had not had his property Fire Risk Assessed. I suppose you could argue that it had been completed but not recorded, but I'd think a court would be looking for a recorded assessment.


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