Amenity standards in HMOs

As well as the basic standards which apply to all HMOs, landlords must also ensure they meet certain amenity standards – all dependant on the number of occupants.

The table below gives the minimum requirement per number of occupants;

Occupants Kitchen area (m2) Hob rings Ovens Grills Sinks Work surface (m) Bathrooms Separate WCs Lounge area (m2)
Less than 5 7.0 4 1 1 1 2.0 1 0 11.5
5 7.0 4 1 1 1 2.0 1 1 11.5
6 7.0 8* 2* 2 2* 2.5 2 0 11.5
7 9.5 8* 2* 2* 2* 3.0 2 1 14
8 12.0 8 2 2* 2 3.5 2 1 16.5
9 14.5 8 2 2 2 4.0 2 1 19.0
10.0 17.0 8 2 2 2 4.5 2 1 21.5
  • (*) means that the additional hob rings, grill and oven can be replaced by a convector microwave oven.
  • (#) means that the extra sink can be replaced by a dishwasher.
  • Separate WC compartments must include a wash hand basin.
kitchen

Fire precautions in HMOs

In addition to amenity standards, landlords must also have certain precautions in place in the event of a fire. While amenity standards vary based on occupancy level, fire precautions are dependant on how many storeys tall a property is.

Two-storey HMOs (less than 7 tenants, classed as low risk)

  • Structural protection (30 minutes fire resistance) between the lounge/kitchen and the common escape route (hall, stairs & landings).
  • A fire door to the lounge/kitchen including intumescent strips with brush-type smoke seals, 3 x 100mm steel hinges and a self-closing device which may be an overhead, double chain Perko type or self closing hinges.
  • A fire blanket in the kitchen fixed to the wall.
  • A fire alarm to BS 5839, type LD3, Grade D (plus kitchen and lounge) or better.
  • There is no legal requirement for fire extinguishers, but a local authority is still likely to recommend either 6 litre AFFF foam or 1.5 kg dry powder extinguishers. If fire extinguishers are provided, they must be serviced annually.
  • A thumb-turn type lock to the front door. The tenants must be able to escape from the property in the event of a fire without needing a key or other tool to open the front door.

As two-storey properties with 7 or more tenants are classed as a ‘normal’ risk, as opposed to a ‘low’ risk, they will need the same precautions as three-storey properties listed below.

Three-storey HMOs (7 or more tenants, normal risk)

  • Structural protection (30 minutes fire resistance) between each room and the rooms surrounding it and between each room and the common escape route (hall, stairs & landings)
  • Fire doors to just about all rooms including intumescent strips (with brush-type smoke seals if the room contains a smoke detector),3 x 100mm steel hinges and a self-closing device which may be an overhead, double chain Perko type or self-closing hinges. Please note that if a room does not contain a smoke detector, brush-type smoke seals must not be fitted.
  • A fire blanket in the kitchen fixed to the wall.
  • A fire alarm to BS 5839, type LD3, Grade D (plus kitchen and lounge) or better.
  • There is no legal requirement for fire extinguishers, but a local authority is still likely to recommend either 6 litre AFFF foam or 1.5 kg dry powder extinguishers. If fire extinguishers are provided, they must be serviced annually.
  • A thumb-turn type lock to the front door. The tenants must be able to escape from the property in the event of a fire without needing a key or other tool to open the front door.

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