Fire and safety regulations for HMO

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2015 at 10:00

As a landlord of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), there are certain fire, electrical and safety regulations that must be adhered to, and you will be inspected by the local council to ensure that your property is acceptable and fully compliant.

So, as a student landlord or other HMO landlord, what do you need to consider?

It depends on the size of your property, but if you have a property which has no more than two storeys and no more than 5 tenants then you’ll most likely need:
• Smoke detectors in the hallway and landing areas that are mains operated and inter-linked
• A fixed temperature heat detector in the kitchen
• A fire blanket fixed in the kitchen fixed to the wall (min. size 1m x 1m)
• Door locks on the main doors which can be opened from the inside without a key
For properties of three storeys or more, then you may also need:
Fire doors – to protect the main means of escape in the event of a fire (usually the stairway), from the top floor through to the front door.
Fire detection system – to give early warning to occupants in the event of a fire. The system will need to be interlinked, mains powered and you’ll also need battery back-up detectors distributed in all risk areas.
Electrical – HMO landlords need to ensure that wiring within the property is maintained in a safe condition and in good working order.
At least every five years, the wiring must be inspected and you need to get a certificate that confirms that it is safe. You need to have a registered electrician from specified institutions, such as the British Standards Institution to carry out this work.
You also need to ensure that there are enough electrical sockets in the property to prevent overloading and the use of trailing extension cables. There are rules for the minimum number of double sockets needed in each room as set out by the British Standard Institution, and the council will be able to advise you on this.

The council can also come to visit your property to undertake an advisory visit before any work is carried out so that you can be sure what you need to do to be compliant. Better be prepared before doing any work, rather than having to re-do if you find out that you aren’t compliant!

If you would like any advice on what the rules and regulations you need to follow as an HMO landlord, then please get in touch, I am more than happy to advise you.

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