Government rules for HMOs can be a bit of a minefield. Landlords ask us all the time about how they can be sure that they're meeting HMO regulations. The good news is that your local HMO officer is there to help and a phone call to your local authority is all it will take to get you on the right track.
A lot of you have asked how you can be sure that you are complying with all the legislation surrounding houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).
It's true that HMOs have a lot of regulations and requirements attached to them but today's article is still going to be quite short.
This is because even though this is a complicated issue there is a short answer to it and that is that you should speak to your local council. More specifically you should simply ask your local housing officer or the local HMO officer what the HMO regulations are.
Ask them about local legislation for HMOs, about the health and safety requirements for your property.
Really, that is the only way to be sure that what you're providing is sufficient, whether that's with regard to windows fitted according to FENSA regulations, fire doors, room sizes, bathrooms or anything else.
Speak to Your Local HMO Officer
Now, the reason why I say, "speak to your local council" is because of the complexity of the situation.
There are government guidelines that cover rental property across the whole country. Of course, these guidelines can sometimes be different for England, Scotland and Wales.
However, how these guidelines should be applied to an HMO depends on the HMO itself. The devil, as they say, is in the details and these details can be quite difficult to pick through and understand. This is because they apply to the specifics of the property.
For instance, specific regulations might apply to a specific number of tenants that you might have in a property. These regulations might then differ depending on the family makeup in a specific tenant group.
If You're Uncertain You Just Have To Ask...
The easiest thing to do is if you're unsure is to ask. Speak to your local HMO officer.
If you're in say, Salford, then call Salford Council. Speak to the HMO officer. Try to understand what it is that they are looking for in an HMO.
It can't hurt to talk and the chances are that if you speak to them early on you'll be starting off in exactly the right direction when it comes to meeting the requirements that in the end, you are going to have to meet anyway.
So call your local authority and ask. They will be able to help you navigate this sometimes complicated issue. Most councils that we have ever dealt with have been very helpful and most conversations we've ever had with local HMO officers have been very worthwhile.
To help you on your way here are a few links to other articles that we have done on HMOs. They cover other regulatory issues such as fire and health and safety but there are other pieces on ideal room sizes, the ideal tenant profile and we even go down top nitty-gritty questions such as whether or not, as a landlord, you should be providing a TV.
- A Complete Introduction to Fire Safety in HMOs
- 2 Quick Changes That Will Make Your HMO More Energy Efficient
- The Only Proven Way to Learn How to Invest In Property
- 4 Unbeatable Tips For Adding Value To An HMO Property
- Don’t Make These 5 Critical Mistakes When Investing in HMOs
- How To Manage Property Refurbishment Costs
- What Room Sizes Do I Need in an HMO Investment?
- HMO Design: Larger Bedrooms Vs. En Suite Bathrooms
- How Many Bathrooms Do I Want In My Next HMO Property?
- How Many Bedrooms Do I Want In My Next HMO Property?
- Does My HMO Property Need To Include A Communal Lounge?20
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If you have any questions or thought you'd like to share on houses of multiple occupation, HMO regulation or the HMO Officer then please leave them in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you and we're always happy to help.