From 1 October 2018, all HMOs with five or more occupants need to have a licence. Apply for a licence by 28 September 2018 to get a discount.
We conduct safety inspections of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). If conditions are not up to standard, the landlord or owner is required to improve them.
In most circumstances we will give 24 hours notice before entry. However, we may authorise a person to enter a premise at any reasonable time without giving any prior notice if the local housing authority considers that a premises needs to be entered to see whether an offence has been committed under section 72, or 95 of the Housing Act 2004.
We inspect all HMOs using our standards for licensable houses in multiple occupation, which can be found at the bottom of the page. We expect all HMOs operating in the borough to comply with our standards.
It is the responsibility of the manager of the HMO make sure that the following are maintained in repair, clean condition and good order (including, where appropriate, proper working order):
All means of water supply and drainage in the house are to be maintained, repaired, kept clean and protected against frost damage. Tanks and cisterns should be clean and covered. The manager shall not unreasonably cause the supply of water, gas or electricity to be interrupted.
The manager shall ensure that common areas such as staircases, passageways, corridors and entrances are kept reasonably free from obstruction. All handrails and banisters and any stair coverings should be kept repaired or replaced or be provided where necessary for the safety of the residents.
Included are installations that serve any part of the house in common use, such as:
installations for the supply of gas and electricity, for lighting and for space heating or heating water
sanitary conveniences, baths, sinks, washbasins and installations for cooking or storing food
receptacles or other installations provided in connection with the delivery of post
other installations (if any) in a kitchen, bathroom, lavatory or washroom.
The internal structure of any part of the house occupied by a resident is the living accommodation including the installations for supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation are in. These must be in good repair.
Includes all windows and other means of ventilation. The manager shall ensure that installations for lighting serving any part of the house in common use are readily available to residents, including lighting for staircases and entrances to the house which are used by residents, whether or not they are in common use.
All means of escape from fire in the house and all apparatus, systems and other fire precaution equipment are to be maintained and kept free from obstruction. It is the manager's responsibility to display in suitable positions in the house signs indicating all means of escape from fire in the house.
Includes all outbuildings and outside areas which belong to the house and are in common use. They should be maintained in good, clean condition and any boundary walls, fences and railings should be kept in good repair.
The manager must ensure:
that refuse and litter do not accumulate in the house, except when pending disposal, and they shall provide and maintain suitable refuse and litter bins, except where they are provided by the local authority. He/she is also responsible for the disposal of any refuse if the local authority fails to do so
that reasonable precautions are taken to ensure the general safety of the residents of the house with regard to the structural conditions of the house and to prevent access to any areas that are unsafe, including window sills that are at or near floor level
that the name, address and telephone number of the managing agent or landlord of the house is displayed in the house.
The manager must also tell us:
the number of people and households living in the house
the numbers of people in each household, and
the purpose for which each room in the house is used.
All residents of the property must ensure that the agent can effectively carry out their duties.
All residents must:
allow the manager access, at all reasonable times, to any occupied room so they may carry out their 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 and disposal
take care not to hinder the agent in the performance of his duties
take reasonable care to avoid damaging anything that the agent is under obligation to keep in good repair.