A brief summary of the requirements is as follows:
(Regulations 1 and 2 relate to interpretation and definition of terms).
3. Provision of information for occupiers
- The contact details of the manager must be prominently displayed
4. Safety measures
- All fire precautions must be maintained and/or adhered to (including keeping fire escapes clear)
- Measures to be taken as are reasonably required to protect the occupiers of the HMO from injury having regard to the design, structural conditions and number of occupiers
5. Water supply and drainage
- Ensure that the water supply and drainage system is properly maintained
6. Supply and maintenance of gas and electricity
- Not unreasonably interrupt the supplies of services
- Provide any gas or electrical installation safety certificates to the Council on demand
- Ensure that every fixed electrical installation is properly inspected and tested at intervals not exceeding 5 years
7. Maintenance of common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances
Maintain common parts in a safe, clean condition. This includes maintenance of:
- Water, gas and electricity supplies
- Drainage facilities
- Appliances such as cookers, heaters, washing machines and shared lighting and heating facilities, (including hot water supplies)
- Shared toilets, baths, sinks and basins
- Shared cooking, food storage and other installations
- Staircases, handrails, halls, passages and landings, including floor coverings
- Windows and other means of ventilation
- Outbuildings, forecourts, paths, walls, yards and gardens
8. Maintenance of living accommodation
- living accommodation and any furniture supplied with it are in clean condition at the beginning of a person’s occupation of it and is maintained in good repair and clean working order, (subject to the tenant behaving in a tenant like manner)
9. Waste disposal
- Provide enough bins for refuse (pending disposal), ensuring that rubbish does not accumulate, and make such further arrangements for the disposal having regard to any service provided by the Council
If you are managing a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you should be aware of your legal responsibilities and what you need to do to look after your property and your tenants.
'Management Regulations' (The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006) are a means whereby the Local Authority seek to deter poor management of HMOs. The regulations set out several broad areas of management responsibility and make it an offence to significantly fail to meet any of these requirements. The Local Authority can make spot checks on HMOs to establish the level of management and seek to prosecute the manager where there is evidence of a significant breach of the regulations. The Courts may impose a fine of up to level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000).
Managers will not be held responsible for matters clearly beyond their control, and the legislation caters for this. The legislation also allows for any reasonable defense for non compliance.
The regulations are generally regarding the following requirements:
- giving information to occupiers, i.e. his or her name, address, and telephone contact number, to all occupiers
- keeping the accommodation safe, clean and in good repair
- making sure that fire safety measures and precautions are maintained
- maintaining safe water, drainage, gas and electricity supplies
- taking care of common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances and
- providing facilities for waste disposal
A summary of the regulations is given below. For more detailed information regarding these requirements please consult the Regulations and Legislation page which contains links to the relevant legislation.
The requirement to ensure the HMO is safe by design effectively puts the onus on the manager to ensure that all reasonably required safety measures are in place prior to a HMO being occupied.
Regulation 10 gives the occupiers responsibilities to:
- allow the manager reasonable access to the property to carry out any duties imposed by the regulations
- not to prevent the manager carrying out their legal duties
- to provide relevant information when requested by the manager and
- to store and dispose of litter properly as directed by the manager
Managers should inform the Local Authority where they consider tenants to be in breach of regulation 10.
Further specific requirements regarding the management of a HMO may be imposed as a condition of being granted a HMO Licence. In addition, the Local Authority must be satisfied that suitable management arrangements are in place in order to be able to grant a HMO Licence.
If the Local Authority determines that there is a breach of management regulations they may seek to prosecute the manager. This may result in the manager no longer being deemed a 'fit and proper person' and this may impact the management of any other properties under control of the manager. The Local Authority has a duty to ensure proper management and this could mean imposing a Management Order on the property which would result in the Local Authority taking over the management responsibility.