Tenant's Toolkit

Standards and Obligations

If you intend to rent a large HMO, you must also meet certain standards and obligations.

You must make sure:

  • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (eg size and facilities)
  • the manager of the house - you or an agent - is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, eg no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice

You must also:

  • send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
  • install and maintain smoke alarms
  • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested

Extra Responsibilities

If your property is an HMO you must meet extra responsibilities which are in addition to their repair responsibilities. These are on:

  • fire and general safety – mainly the provision of properly working smoke and/or heat detectors with alarms and a safe means of escape in case of fire
  • water supply and drainage – these cannot be unreasonably interrupted and must be kept clean and in good repair
  • gas and electricity – appliances and installations must be safe, which includes arranging an annual gas safety check and having electrical installations checked at least every five years
  • communal areas – such as staircases, halls, corridors and entrances, must be kept in good decorative repair, clean and reasonably free from obstructions
  • waste disposal – there must be enough bins for rubbish and adequate means of disposing of rubbish
  • living accommodation – the living accommodation and any furniture supplied must be clean and in good repair.

Note: The council may add other conditions to your licence, eg improving the standard of your facilities. They will let you know when you apply.

Tip: If you disagree with any conditions the council sets, you can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.