hmo regulations

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    hmo regulations

    Hello,

    I have recently bought a property in Hull. It is outside the compulsory HMO licensing area. I am planning to rent 5 rooms out. It is a two storey property. I have been told so many conflicting reports on what safety requirements I need to meet as a minimum.

    My experience as a landlord is purely standard residential lets and this is my first HMO .

    From what I understand I need the following as a minimum requirement :

    Fire door to kitchen (this is the only communal area)
    Fire door to the cupboard under stairs / fuse box etc...
    Carbon monoxide detector
    Smoke detector both floors
    Gas certificate
    Electrical testing

    I'm unsure what else is compulsory ? It is obviously not a 3 storey property with 5 or more tenants, and it's not in a compulsory license area.

    Perhaps...

    Fire blanket / fire extinguisher in kitchen?
    Do the smoke detectors have to be wired in ?

    I have searched the Internet but haven't received a definitive answer.

    Any hmo landlords out there who could give me some advice would be greatly appreciated ???.

    Kind regards

    Ryder

    #2
    It all depends on whether you are renting out as a 'shared house' or as individual room lets.

    Google 'Lacors fire safety' and have a read of the pdf. You will definitely need mains interlinked fire/heat alarms, and possibly a 30 minute protected escape route.

    Your local council should have minimum standards for HMO's online, such as minimum room sizes acceptable, kitchen facilities required etc.

    Read through HMO legislation as well.

    To be honest I would have thought you would have researched all this stuff prior to buying.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you Andy

      My initial intention was to rent as a standard residential let, however a letting agent said there was a strong demand in the area for individual rooms.

      They will be individual room lets not a shared house.

      I have emailed Hull Council for some documentation on HMO regulations in the area. I am aware already that the property is not in their compulsory HMO licenced area.

      I was really just wondering if anyone had any advice on regulations as I have never let any houses as an HMO, My other properties are standard lets.

      Thanks for your help

      Ryder

      Comment


        #4
        Your council HMO officer is the best person to advise you about fire safety regulations, etc.

        I would however think carefully about how you are going to manage this new kind of letting, compared with your standard residential experience. First, do you plan to factor Council Tax,energy and water charges into the rent, or do you expect that the various Ts will be jointly liable for them? If the former (which is the only fair way to do it), then how are you going to make sure that they don't each have 6 showers per day and leave the heating on and the windows open 24/7? Second, what plans do you have for the cleaning of the communal areas (because the Ts will almost certainly not do it themselves - they will feel 'ownership' (if at all) only for their own bedrooms. Do you plan to recruit students, or young professionals, people on housing benefits, who?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


          #5
          As 'room only' lets you will need a protected escape route on top of your fire alarm system. This is FS30 fire doors on bedrooms, lounge and kitchen.

          As MTG says a cleaner is definitely required for communal areas.

          If going 'bills inclusive' don't attempt to restrict heating unless absolutely necessary, education is better. The last thing you want are 'hidden' portable fan heaters in rooms which will cost a fortune in electricity charges.

          And you will need to visit regularly. Room only tenants (again as MTG says) do not take ownership of communal areas and do not report faults. Simple things will happen like a 5 bulb light fitting on it's last bulb even where you have provided bulbs (just as an example). So keep fittings simple. Also, if you have workmen round you will probably have to host them unlike a normal rental where your tenants would. (You might get lucky though).

          Comment


            #6
            Is the Government still planning to introduce changes to mandatory HMO licensing this year? From memory I think a 5 bed house over 2 storeys would in future require a licence but I can't quite remember the detail.

            Comment


              #7
              DPT57,

              I don't think the government is planning to do very much at the moment and changes to HMO licensing are probably a long way down the priority list!
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                Ok, you're probably right, its just that the Government's original discussion paper said they would introduce legislation some time in 2016. I realise this may now be delayed, but I suspect the OP may only have a temporary stay of execution before a 5 bed property requires a mandatory licence.

                Comment


                  #9
                  To provide all occupiers with the manager's name, address and telephone number, this information must be clearly displayed within in the property
                  To ensure that all fire escapes are clear of any obstacles and that they are kept in good order, to ensure that all fire safety measures are maintained in good working order and that adequate fire safety measures are in place with regards to the design, structural conditions and number of occupiers in the HMO
                  The manager must maintain adequate water supply and drainage to the dwelling
                  The manager must not unreasonably cause the electric and gas supply to be interrupted
                  The manager must ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested by a suitably qualified person, at intervals not exceeding five years
                  The manager must provide the electrical and gas inspection certificates within seven days of receiving a request of writing from the local housing authority
                  To ensure that all common parts of the HMO are maintained in good decorative order, and safe and working condition. This includes out-buildings, boundaries and gardens
                  The manager must ensure each unit of living accommodation and its contents are clean before occupiers move in and are maintained in good repair and clean working order throughout the occupation by the tenant
                  The manager must provide adequate facilities to dispose of all waste produced by the property

                  Some of these are more onerous than they appear - the "fire safety measures" one probably involves talking to your local fire brigade and doing what they suggest (which will probably involve a higher than "normal" standard of doors, heat sensitive fire alarms in kitchen(s) and proper fire escapes).
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    DPT57,

                    The consultation ended a while ago. I'd imagine it will be coming in at some point.

                    Comment

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