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HMO AMENITY STANDARDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

When it comes to renting out a property, there are many things to consider. One of the most important factors is making sure that the property meets certain standards of safety and comfort.

 

This is especially true when it comes to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). HMOs are properties that are rented out to multiple tenants, who may not all be related. This can include student housing, group homes, and other types of shared living arrangements.

 

To ensure that HMOs are safe and comfortable places to live, there are certain amenity standards that must be met. These standards cover everything from basic living conditions to fire safety, and they are designed to protect tenants from harm and ensure that they have a pleasant living experience.

 

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at HMO amenity standards and what landlords and tenants need to know about them.

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What are HMO Amenity Standards?

HMO amenity standards are guidelines that set out the minimum requirements that must be met in order to ensure that a property is safe and comfortable for tenants. These standards are designed to protect tenants from harm and ensure that they have a pleasant living experience.


Some of the key areas that HMO amenity standards cover include:

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Minimum room sizes 

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Space and layout

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Fire safety 

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Lighting and ventilation

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Sanitation and facilities 

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Furnishings and equipment 

Minimum room sizes: This includes ensuring that spaces within the property meet certain Government defined minimum sizes, such as bedrooms and kitchens.

Space and layout: This includes ensuring that there is enough space for each tenant, as well as making sure that the layout of the property is safe and easy to navigate.


Fire safety: This includes having smoke detectors and fire alarms in place, as well as ensuring that there are adequate means of escape in case of a fire.
 

Lighting and ventilation: This includes ensuring that there is adequate natural light and ventilation in the property, as well as making sure that there are no damp or mould issues.
 

Sanitation and facilities: This includes making sure that there are adequate toilet and washing facilities, as well as ensuring that the property is kept clean and hygienic.
 

Furnishings and equipment: This includes making sure that there are enough beds, chairs, and other furnishings for each tenant, as well as ensuring that any equipment, such as cookers and fridges, is in good working order.

Why are HMO Amenity Standards Important?

HMO amenity standards are important for several reasons. Firstly, they are designed to protect tenants from harm. For example, if a property does not have adequate fire safety measures in place, tenants could be at risk of injury or death in the event of a fire. Similarly, if a property does not have adequate lighting and ventilation, tenants could be at risk of health problems caused by damp or mould.

 

Secondly, HMO amenity standards are designed to ensure that tenants have a pleasant living experience. For example, if a property is overcrowded or poorly laid out, tenants may find it difficult to move around or feel cramped and uncomfortable.

 

Finally, HMO amenity standards are important because they help to ensure that the property is safe and accessible for everyone. For example, if a property is not accessible to people with disabilities, this could be discriminatory and illegal.

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Who is Responsible for Meeting HMO Amenity Standards?

The responsibility for meeting HMO amenity standards falls primarily on the landlord. This is because it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property is safe and comfortable for tenants. However, tenants also have a responsibility to take care of the property and report any issues to the landlord.

 

Landlords are required to make sure that the property meets HMO amenity standards before tenants move in, and they must also maintain the property throughout the tenancy. This includes making sure that fire safety measures are in place and working properly, that the property is well-ventilated and free of damp or mould, and that sanitation and facilities are adequate.

 

It’s also important for landlords to keep records of any repairs or maintenance that are carried out, in case of any future disputes.

 

Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for reporting any issues or problems with the property to the landlord. They should also take care of the property and not cause any damage or create hazards.If a landlord fails to meet HMO amenity standards, tenants have the right to report them to the local council. The council will then carry out an inspection of the property and may take action against the landlord if they find any issues.

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How to Meet HMO Amenity Standards

Meeting HMO amenity standards can seem like a daunting task, but there are several steps that landlords can take to ensure that their property meets these standards.

 

Firstly, it’s important to carry out regular inspections of the property to identify any issues that need to be addressed. This includes checking for fire safety measures, ventilation, and sanitation.
 

Secondly, landlords should make sure that the property is well-maintained and that any repairs or maintenance are carried out promptly. This includes fixing any leaks, ensuring that there is adequate lighting and ventilation, and keeping the property clean and hygienic.
 

Thirdly, landlords should make sure that the property is equipped with the necessary furnishings and equipment. This includes having enough beds, chairs, and other furniture for each tenant, as well as ensuring that any equipment, such as cookers and fridges, is in good working order.
 

Finally, landlords should make sure that the property is accessible to all tenants, including those with disabilities. This includes ensuring that there are no steps or obstacles that would make it difficult for someone with a disability to move around the property.

Conclusion

In conclusion, HMO amenity standards are an important aspect of renting out a property. They are designed to protect tenants from harm and ensure that they have a pleasant living experience. Landlords must make sure that their properties meet these standards and tenants should report any issues to the landlord. By following these guidelines and taking the necessary steps, landlords can ensure that their properties are safe, comfortable, and accessible to all tenants.

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