Common Mistakes in HMO’s

Under guidance given by the government, HMOs can be very complicated and because all HMOs are set up differently, there is no one rule that applies to all. Some common misconceptions, interpretations and wrong advice given by builders and architects have resulted in HMO’s to be non-complaint.

  • Have you ensured there are quick release locks fitted to BS8621 on all final exit doors, as well as BS10621 on internal doors?
  • Have you ensured the property has FD30/FD60 fire rated doors and seal  (which are also not painted on) providing protection from/into risk rooms?
  • Have you implied both the 3mm & 8mm rule to the door settings in the HMO?
  • Have you ensured the secondary escape route is no more than 4.5m from ground level?
  • Have you provided the required 30min fire protection escape route from the rooms, in accordance with the 9m escape routes rules?
  • Have you got evidence to hand that proves that all fire/smoke detectors/self closures work in this property, together with log/record sheets?

These and many more are set in guidelines for HMO operations.  Coventry City Council is currently proactively targeting the local HMO market, to ensure all HMO properties are safe and standards are met.

Under your duties within Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006’ & Article 4 section of the Fire Safety Order 2005, you have a legal obligation to provide this level of safety within your HMO.

Failure to comply can result in;

  • Unlimited Fine through the courts, prosecution and even jail.
  • In such cases you will not be a ‘fit and proper’ person and therefore will not be able to manage your HMO property.
  • Your insurance can become null and void and therefore not pay out on damages or any claims.
  • Under the ‘relevant persons’ section, your mortgage lenders may be contacted and your mortgage can be revoked
  • A banning order where the landlord (or agent) has been convicted
  • A ‘rent repayment order’