Management Duties in HMOs
The Management of all HMO’s whether licensable or not are regulated by specific management regulations:
- The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 20006 – Statutory Instrument no. 372
- The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions)(England) Regulations 2007 – Statutory Instrument no.1903
Both sets of Regulations are broadly similar, the latter applying in the very specific situation of HMO’s that are created as a result of converting a building into self-contained flats (see s.257/converted flats)
The Management Regulations impose duties on both managers and the tenants of an HMO. The latter being required to not hinder nor frustrate the manager; allowing access at all reasonable times; providing relevant information; avoid causing damage; disposing of waste following arrangements; and complying with fire safety instructions – All these requirements relating to the managers duties in complying with these Regulations, not other issues.
In brief, Managers must ensure that:
Safety Measures are taken to ensure that:-
- Means of escape from fire are in good order and free from obstruction
- Any fire fighting equipment and alarms are maintained
- All fire escape notices are visibly displayed (where there are more than four occupants)
All other safety measures reasonably required to protect the occupiers must be taken having regard to design, structure and number of occupants of the HMO, particularly in relation to making safe any roof or balcony that are accessible and any window sills at or near floor level are suitably protected.
Additionally managers must ensure that:-
- Management details are supplied and displayed in the HMO
- Water supply and drainage are maintained
- Gas and electricity and installations are maintained and safe (electrical safety is now dealt with by the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020)
- Common parts are in good condition, safe, clear of obstruction and clean, and particularly that handrails, banisters, stair coverings, windows, light fittings, and all other fixtures, fittings or appliances that are shared are in good order, safe and suitable.
- Externally, all gardens, outbuildings, yards, forecourts, boundary walls and fences of the HMO must be similarly kept in good order and safe.
The manager is also given certain responsibilities in respect of the disposal of refuse and litter, and the taking of reasonable precautions to protect tenants and lodgers from dangers resulting from structural conditions in the premises.