Minimum Amenity Standard for Licensed HMO
When a house in multiple occupation (HMO) requires a licence there are a number of amenities that must be provided. If the correct amenities are not present, a condition will be included in the licence requiring that they are provided within a set time limit.
These minimum standards are set at a national level but local authorities are free to require a higher standard if they can justify it. They do not apply to properties who are licensed under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (selective licensing).
This guide can only give general information and you always need to specifically check the status of any property individually. Prior to making adjustments to comply with these standards, you should take appropriate advice including checking any general guidance from the local authority.
Each unit of living accommodation in an HMO must be equipped with adequate means of space heating.
There a number of amenity standards relating to washing facilities that you will have to meet -
- All baths, showers and wash hand basins in an HMO must be equipped with taps providing an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water.
- All bathrooms in an HMO must be suitably and adequately heated and ventilated.
- All bathrooms and toilets in an HMO must be of an adequate size and layout.
- All baths, toilets and wash hand basins in an HMO must be fit for the purpose.
- All bathrooms and toilets in an HMO must be suitably located either in the living accommodation itself. Alternatively, so long as they are suitably located in relation to where the living accommodation is located in the HMO this suffices.
- An adequate number of toilets, bathrooms and wash hand basins for the number of people living in the property.
- Where reasonably practicable there must be a wash hand basin with appropriate splashback in each unit unless the unit contains a sink provided as part of the kitchen facilities in the same room. This requirement should consider the character of the property, it's age and size, as well as other washing facilities in the property.
Where any of the unit of accommodation within the HMO does not contain its own facilities for the cooking of food -
- there must be a kitchen, suitably located in relation to the living accommodation
- the kitchen must have a layout and be of a size and be equipped with such facilities to adequately enable those sharing the facilities to store, prepare and cook food
Equipment in shared kitchens
The kitchen must be equipped with the following equipment -
- Sinks with draining boards
- An adequate supply of cold and constant hot water to each sink installation or equipment for the cooking of food
- Electrical sockets
- Worktops for the preparation of food
- Cupboards for the storage of food or kitchen and cooking utensils
- Refrigerators with an adequate freezer compartment (or, where the freezer compartment is not adequate, adequate separate freezers)
- Appropriate refuse disposal facilities
- Appropriate extractor fans
- Fire blankets
- Fire doors to the kitchen
This equipment must be fit for the purpose and supplied in a sufficient quantity for the number of those sharing the facilities
Individual kitchens (within units of accommodation)
Where there is a kitchen within the unit, the unit must be provided with -
- adequate appliances and equipment for the cooking of food
- a sink with an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water
- a work top for the preparation of food
- sufficient electrical sockets
- a cupboard for the storage of kitchen utensils and crockery
- a refrigerator.
This requirement applies where a unit of living accommodation contains kitchen facilities for the exclusive use of the individual household, and there are no other kitchen facilities available for that household.
Individual bathroom/toilet facilities
When a unit has its own bath/toilet facilities it must have an enclosed and adequately laid out and ventilated room with a toilet and bath or fixed shower. Adequate cold and constant hot water must be provided. These facilities must be for the exclusive use of the occupiers of that unit either
- within the living accommodation; or
- within reasonable proximity to the living accommodation.
Fire precautions will be set by the local authority in addition to the standard precautions that you will be required to meet as part of your HMO management duties.
From 1 October 2018 HMOs licensed in England under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 are required to contain a condition relating to minimum room sizes. These conditions must ensure that the floor area of any room used as sleeping accommodation is not -
- less than 6.51 square metres if it is used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years old
- less than 10.22 square metres if it is used as sleeping accommodation by two people aged over 10 years old
- less than 4.64 square metres if it is used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years
- less than 4.64 square metres in any situation where it is used as sleeping accommodation.
These licensing conditions can be higher than this minimum if the local authority can justify their decision. The licensing conditions will also set out the number of people who are allowed to use a specific room as sleeping accommodation.