Safety regulations in HMOs

Under the Housing Act 2004, councils can assess potential risks in your property using the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS). It assesses 29 potential risks and classes them as either category 1 (serious) or category 2 (less serious).

Fire safety

Due to the greater risk of fire in HMO’s there are extra requirements which relate to HMO’s that do not apply to other property. These depend on the type of property and it is recommended that you contact the Environmental Health Department for more specific information.


If you’re running an HMO, you’ll need to ensure the facilities are adequate for the number of tenants. Councils will usually set ratios to determine the amount of people who can comfortably share facilities. For example, more than five people may not be able to share a kitchen.

Proper management of HMOs

As the landlord, you’ll need to ensure certain practices are in a place regarding the management of the property. These include:

Appointing a suitable person to manage the property and ensuring their contact details are prominently displayed. This can be either you or your agent.

Maintaining communal areas in decent condition.

Monitoring Occupancy

Providing adequate facilities for waste disposal.

Ensuring fire escapes are free from obstructions.