Your landlord usually has extra legal responsibilities if the home that you rent is a house in multiple occupation or HMO. The extra rules are there to reduce the risk of fire and to make sure that the people living in shared houses or flats have adequate facilities.
Landlords of HMOs must make sure that:
- Proper fire safety measures are in place, including working smoke alarms;
- Annual gas safety checks are carried out;
- The electrics are checked every 5 years;
- The property is not overcrowded;
- There are enough cooking and bathroom facilities for the number living there;
- Communal areas and shared facilities are clean and in good repair;
- There are enough rubbish bins/bags.
Many student properties are classed as HMO’s. An HMO could be a:
- House split into separate bedsits;
- Shared house or flat, where the sharers are not members of the same family;
- Bed-and-breakfast hotel that is not just for holidays;
- Shared accommodation for students; although many halls of residence and other types of student accommodation owned by educational establishments are not classed as HMOs
Your landlord may need a licence from the council if they manage a house of multiple occupants and these licences need to be available to the tenants.
How can the SU help?
If you are worried that you are living in a property that hasn’t undergone the correct checks, we can help you understand your rights and help you check that your property is meeting standards. We are unable to perform our own checks on your property.