HMO licence applications and renewals.
In most cases an HMO is a house or a flat in which 2 or more households live as their only or main residence and where some of these households share basic facilities, such as a kitchen toilet or bathroom.
Other types of HMOs:
A household could be a single person, or members of the same family living together. If there are 3 or more people living together in a flat or a building and they are not all in the same household, for example a shared student house, the building or flat may be classified as an HMO.
An HMO is regarded as a person's main or only residence if:
HMOs must be licensed if they have 3 or more storeys and are occupied by 5 or more persons forming 2 or more households.
In the calculation of storeys, commercial use of the ground floor or above will count as a storey. For example, a shop or other commercial premises below a first and second flat will be a 3 storey HMO.
There are also other rules as to what can be a storey; check about licensing.
There are 2 sets of management relations:
The Management Regulations impose duties on both the managers and the tenants of an HMO. The duties imposed are to ensure the good order, repair and, as appropriate, cleanliness of the following:
The manager is also given certain responsibilities in respect of the disposal of refuse and litter, and the taking of reasonable precautions to protect tenants and lodgers from dangers resulting from structural conditions in the premises.
Management regulations also impose duties in the tenants of houses. We have produced an open letter to tenants detailing their responsibilities that apply to shared houses of 3 or more persons. Landlords can print this letter off and give to tenants as part of their responsibilities under licensing conditions.
Open letter to tenants of shared houses
These are our recommended standards for non-licensable HMOs.
We cannot routinely enforce these standards. However, if a property is inspected that has serious health and safety deficiencies for the hazard of fire, any requirements for works will be to these standards.
These are also the fire standards required for Snug homes which promotes the best quality student housing.
Fire Booklet for non-licensable HMOs in Sheffield
All HMOs should be free from Serious Health and Safety Hazards – known as Category 1 Hazards.
Within 5 years of a licence application, all HMOs have to be assessed to ensure there are no category 1 hazards.
Read our short guide to the hazards and background of the Safety Ratings (HHSRS).
Some HMOs will need to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This is often referred to as the RRO or just the Fire Safety Order.
These will typically be houses let as bedsits, hostels and blocks of flats.
In HMOs the manager is required to ensure that the furniture supplied is in a clean condition at the start of a person's occupation.
There are also standards for furniture and furnishings to ensure fire safety.
Some of the works to HMOs will require building regulation approval including for:
Meeting building regulation standards does not imply that the house meets HMO standards and will be free from Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hazards.
Landlords submitting an application for building regulations should include HMO in the title of the application. We may then advise you as to any requirements we might have.
Planning permission will be required for new HMOs of over 6 persons and we have an Article 4 Direction Area for any HMOs in the areas of the city with high concentrations of HMOs including:
All landlords providing rented accommodation will have responsibilities to ensure that the risks regarding legionella are properly controlled.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforce landlord obligations for Legionnaire's Disease.
Landlords in the social and private rented sectors must give new tenants a copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their home.
It includes a rating for its energy efficiency and environmental impact, together with recommended measures (for the landlord to consider) which would improve its rating.
Prospective tenants are able to make informed choices about the energy costs and environmental impact of properties they are considering renting.
Landlords are encouraged to implement energy efficiency measures to make their properties more attractive to prospective tenants.
Standards in the sector have improved, tenants have warmer more efficient homes, and issues around the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), excess cold hazard, fuel poverty and the wider climate change agenda have been addressed.