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Additional considerations for HMOs

  • Property licensing – most houses/flats occupied by three or more people forming two or more households, who share any basic amenities require a property licence. This will either be a mandatory HMO licence or an additional (HMO) licence. HMO licensing was introduced to help councils regulate standards and conditions in these homes. The property licence means we can ensure that an HMO has enough kitchens, baths/showers and WCs. It also limits how many people can live in a property.
  • HMO property standards – there are further HMO property standards which apply to HMOs and buildings containing flats.
  • Planning permission – in Waltham Forest, an HMO must have planning permission appropriate to its use, or demonstrate the property has established HMO use.
  • Fire safety – most HMOs, including buildings converted into flats, require a higher standard of fire safety. This includes both structural fire precautions (fire doors etc) and automatic detection and warning systems (smoke detectors etc).
  • Management standards - the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 applies to most HMO properties. It puts extra duties on the property manager to maintain facilities and services, and carry out other measures to ensure the occupants are safe. Similar requirements apply to certain converted blocks of flats ‘Section 257 HMOs’ through regulations from 2007.