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Fire safety in HMOs

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property that is shared by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family. HMO landlords must have a licence from the Local Council Housing Department. This ensures that the property is managed properly and meets certain safety standards. The licence will be valid for up to three years, and will then have to be renewed.

Although the commons areas of blocks of flats, maisonettes and HMO’s are subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) RR(FS)O It is important to know if your premises is an HMO because you will have additional responsibilities under the Housing Act 2004.

Fire safety law today

  • Building Regulations
  • Housing Act 2004
  • Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order 2005
  • Secondary Regulations

Our team will deal with the following:

Housing Act 2004

  • Part 1: Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) – assessment of fire hazard in all types of dwelling
  • Part 2: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Mandatory: 3 or more storeys and 5 or more people, not single household –must be licensed, all areas.

Licence conditions attached to licence include fire safety precautions

Mandatory licence conditions - Fire (s67 & schedule 4)

“A licence under Part 2 or 3 must include the following conditions…… conditions requiring the licence holder – (a) to ensure that smoke alarms are installed in the house and to keep them in proper working order; (b) to supply the authority on demand, with a declaration …. as to the condition and positioning of such alarms.”

Discretionary licence conditions – Fire (s67)

Such conditions as the LA consider appropriate for regulating… the management, use, occupation, condition, contents of the house….. and in particular…. “conditions requiring facilities and equipment to be made available in the house for the purpose of meeting standards prescribed under section 65”Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 373, The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (MiscellaneousProvisions) (England) Regulations 2006. ie. “Appropriate fire precaution facilities and equipment must be provided of such type, number and location as is considered necessary”.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order 2005 is regulated and enforce by the fire service.

The FSO applies to:  The common parts of HMOs  The common parts of Flats/maisonettes

The FSO does not apply to:  The dwelling units themselves  Any parts of shared houses

Secondary regulations

  • Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006
  • The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
  • The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
  • Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

Useful links