Ensuring Safety and Compliance in HMO Properties: Best Practices

Mar 15, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Ensuring safety and compliance in HMO properties is your primary concern as a landlord, so it’s crucial to be aware of and to implement the latest best practices. Maintaining health and safety in rental properties is becoming increasingly important, and when the stipulated HMO property standards in this regard are not met, HMO landlords put themselves at risk of falling foul of the law. Since avoiding penalties in HMO properties is vital for maximising revenue and profit, this guide to best practices for HMO management in England will help you steer clear of the potential pitfalls while also ensuring tenant safety in HMOs that you own and manage.

What Are the Key HMO Safety Regulations?

All properties that are privately let, including HMOs, must meet the regulations and rules set out by the government. Tenant rights in HMOs apply just as much as they do in single family dwellings, so you need to ensure your property is habitable and safe for tenants to live in.

In practice, this means that fire safety in HMOs is paramount by providing the required smoke alarms, fire blankets, and fire extinguishers, while electrical and gas safety requirements must also be met. Obtaining the appropriate electrical and gas safety certificates will be high on the compliance checklist for HMO landlords in England.

It’s also important to carry out a risk assessment for HMO properties to check for any potential issues like damp, mould, or slip and trip hazards caused by badly fitted flooring or uneven surfaces. You should follow all the latest HMO safety tips for landlords to ensure that nothing is overlooked that could result in a tenant being harmed or injured. Using an official HMO inspection guide will help you avoid overlooking any key elements.

Meeting HMO Licensing Requirements

Not all HMOs require a licence, however if yours does, you need to be sure that you’ve complied with this requirement to legally rent out your property to tenants. There are some specific regulations that apply to licensable HMOs, many of which only apply to certain local authorities, so you’ll need to do your research well for the area.

Even if no licence is needed for your property, there are around 400 regulations that you must comply with. These include ensuring tenants have the “Right to Rent”, making sure they’ve received all the required information, and that you’re holding their deposit in an appropriate government-backed scheme.

Maintaining The Minimum Room Size

Although you may be tempted to try to maximise your return on investment as much as possible by renting out every possible space in your HMO, you need to be aware that minimum sizes are applicable for any HMO licenced after October 1st 2018. Sleeping accommodations must be at least 6.51 square metres for one person over the age of 10, and at least 10.22 square metres for two people sharing a room.

Using the Latest HMO Compliance Strategies

Since ensuring your compliance with the latest rules and regulations couldn’t be more important, it makes sense to use the services of a trusted local HMO property management company in England with expertise in the field. At The HMO Network our team have extensive knowledge of the local HMO rental market as well as an in-depth understanding of up-to-date compliance strategies and legal requirements.

Get in touch with us today at beth@charlesdavidcasson.co.uk or on 01245 835859 to find out more about how we can help simplify the process of HMO property management for you.