Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
Your HMO landlord's responsibilities
Your landlord's responsibilities depend on how many other people you share with and if the HMO you live in must be licensed by the council.
Repairs and safety
Private landlords are always responsible for certain repairs. This includes fixing faulty electrical wires, problems with the pipework or heating.
If you share your home with 4 or more people, your landlord must also make sure that:
there are enough rubbish bins
the property is not overcrowded
electrics are checked every 5 years
yearly gas safety checks are carried out
shared areas and facilities are clean and in good repair
fire safety measures are in place, including working smoke alarms
there are enough facilities for cooking and washing
Check with your local council if these rules apply to smaller HMOs in your area. If they do, your landlord may have additional responsibilities even if you share your home with fewer than 4 other people.
Minimum bedroom sizes
If your landlord needs an HMO licence, the bedroom sizes in your home must be at least:
4.64 square metres for a child under 10 years old
6.51 square metres for a person aged 10 or over
10.22 square metres for 2 people aged 10 or over
Your council could have higher standards for bedroom sizes.
The council can give your landlord time to meet these requirements or reduce the number of renters in the property.
Your landlord is responsible for fixing and repairing shared areas if you have tenancy agreements for separate rooms.
Your landlord should be reasonable about when and how often they come to your home.
The landlord could be responsible for paying council tax if the HMO you live in:
was built or converted to be lived in by more than one household
is lived in by two or more tenants or licensees
Contact your local council if you're unsure who should pay council tax.
Your landlord has a legal duty to give you a written statement of your tenancy terms if you share your home with at least 4 other people.
Some councils require landlords of all HMOs to do it. Contact the council if you're unsure.
How to complain about an HMO landlord
Contact your council's environmental health department if your HMO is not up to standard.
Councils use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to check your home.
Councils can prosecute landlords who do not follow HMO rules.
Problems with housemates?
Your landlord does not have to get involved if there is a disagreement between occupiers.
Find out what you can do if you're experiencing problems with housemates.
Last updated: 24 October 2022