New HMO Regulations for Landlords from October 2018
The latest government changes around the definition of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) took force on the 1st October 2018. HMOs are homes where people, who are not related, sleep in separate rooms but share facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms. Under the new changes, all landlords and letting agents are required to comply with the newest electrical obligations. Here is everything you need to know about the HMO licensing electrical changes.
Licensing for HMOs
Before the 1st October 2018, landlords and letting agents were required to have a licence if the property had at least three storeys and was being occupied by five or more individuals, who were not all related to each other. Under the new rules, the minimum property size was removed, which means that going forward any HMO properties with five or more occupants will require a licence.
Electrical Obligations Required by New Licensing
HMO landlords need to make sure the house is suitable for the number of occupants and the licence holder is ‘fit and proper’.
In addition, landlords need to :
- Provide the tenant with a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) .
- Provide a record of any electrical inspections. The landlords must ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration. If it is an HMO, it is mandatory to carry out a periodic electrical inspection on the property every 5 years. The same is recommended for other properties, even though it is not obliged by law. Also, it is recommended that all electrical appliances should be checked at least every five years and electrical installations – every ten years.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with appliances using solid fuels – such as coal and wood. The landlord must provide evidence that these alarms are working at the start of each tenancy.
- Provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested and meet any other conditions set by the council.
- Maintain all electrical appliances they have supplied. The supplied appliances must have at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that the device meets all the requirements of European law).
- Make sure there are enough cooking and bathroom facilities for the number of people living in HMO.
- In case of proving a new boiler, it needs to be at least 86% efficient.
- Carry out the repairs of any provided electrical appliances which stopped working.
- Deal with any problems with the electricity supply.
Full Circuit Electrical Recommends:
- Take a visual inspection of the property before each new tenancy – this should detect broken items such as sockets and light switches or signs of scorching around the sockets due to overloading or damaged cables etc.
- Make sure that your property has adequate RCD protection.
- Check the replacement date on the side of smoke alarms.
- Regularly test smoke alarms and record them.
- Use only registered electricians to carry out any electrical works on your property.