HMO standards

Minimum national standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are prescribed in regulations under the Housing Act 2004. These relate to provision of bathrooms, WCs, kitchens, fire safety and heating within HMOs.  Even in some cases where these prescribed standards are met, the Council may still decide that an HMO is not reasonably suitable for occupation. Under Section 65 of the Housing Act 2004, more detailed local HMO standards can be set to reflect local housing conditions, provided they do not fall below the national standards.

The Council’s HMO standards

The Council has adopted its own minimum HMO standards. These ensure that HMOs provided a good level and standard of accommodation and facilities.

Where standards are not met, a HMO licence will not be granted by the Council. The HMO standards can also be used for advice and enforcement purposes by the Council.

The standards also provide detailed information for landlords on what is required of them to comply with the law and ensure their accommodation is safe, well managed, and provides a reasonable standard of facilities and sufficient living space for the occupiers.

 There are three guides under the following categories:

In addition please find an amenity guide below:

Due to the diversity of HMO accommodation in the borough, the standards must be applied flexibly by Council officers. Where variations are applied on individual cases, decisions will be recorded in writing.


Reviewed on 14 March 2014

Last updated: 29 November 2019