Local authorities set out standards for cooking, washing and toilet facilities for HMOs.
Some less-common HMO types, for example Bed and Breakfast establishments for homeless people, are not covered. If you want information about the standards applying to those and any other HMOs not dealt with here, please contact your local authority.
Many HMOs ‘Shared- house’ HMOs. A ‘Shared – house’ HMO is one where, although they are unrelated to one another, the occupiers live in a similar way to a family. Typically:
- the house has been rented by an identifiable group of sharers such as students or work colleagues;
- each occupant has his or her own bedroom but they share the other facilities of the house;
- all occupiers have exclusive legal possession and control of all parts of the house including all bedrooms;
- there is usually a significant level of social interaction;
- they have rented the house as one group;
- there is a single joint tenancy agreement
Amenities in HMOs
1. Kitchen facilities
Each letting in an HMO should normally be provided with its own kitchen facilities.
Those facilities must consist of the following:
- A 4-ring cooker complete with oven and grill (in a single-person letting a 2-ring cooker complete with oven and grill will be accepted)
- A sink and draining board complete with constant supply of hot and cold running water
- A minimum of 1 metre of worktop (600 mm deep)
- 2 double 13-amp electric sockets over the worktop
- A refrigerator or refrigerators suitable for the number of people using the facilities
- Sufficient and suitable food storage cupboards
- Adequate refuse disposable facilities
Kitchen facilities must not be located within a fire escape route (for example on a landing or in an under stairs cupboard) and must be separated from an escape route by a proper fire door.
Kitchens must be laid out so as to be safe and convenient in use. In particular, the sink and cooker must be so arranged that there is no risk of burns, scalds, electrocution or collision.
All rooms containing kitchen facilities must have adequate natural and/or artificial ventilation and artificial lighting.
Floors, walls and ceilings in kitchens must be capable of being easily cleaned and there must be at least 2 courses of tiles over sinks and worktops to act as a splashback
Shared-house’ HMOs, and HMOs where it is not practicable to provide facilities in each letting.
- A complete set of facilities for each 5 (or part of 5) must be provided.
In ‘Shared-house’ HMOs with up to 7 occupiers the following can be accepted as an alternative to the second set of facilities:
- A suitably located and plumbed dishwasher;
- A combination-type microwave oven;
- An extra 0.5 metre length of worktop;
- An additional 13 amp electric socket.
A shared kitchen must be at least 5.5 square metres in floor area. Where 2 sets of facilities are provided the room must be at least 11 square metres in area.
No more than 2 sets of facilities can be provided in any one kitchen.
2. Personal washing and toilet facilities
These standards apply to licensable and non-licensable HMOs alike.
For each 5 occupants or part of 5 there must be:
- A fixed bath or shower with constant supplies of hot and cold running water
- A wash hand basin with constant supply of hot and cold running water
- An internal WC
Where practicable the WC should be in a compartment separate from the bathroom/shower room. Where there are more than 5 occupants and 2 or more baths/showers, basins and WCs are required, at least one WC should be in a separate compartment.
Any separate WC must contain a wash hand basin with supply of hot and cold running water. Where such a basin cannot be fitted because of inadequate space a basin must be provided in each bedroom.
A bath with a shower fitment over it counts as a single bath/shower.
Baths and showers must be provided with proper tiled surrounds to enable proper cleansing. There must be at least 2 courses of ceramic tiles over wash hand basins to act as splashbacks.
All fittings must be provided with proper soil/waste drainage and be properly plumbed-in.
Compartments containing baths, showers and WCs must be provided with adequate natural and/or artificial ventilation.