Unlicensed houses in multiple occupation

Fire safety and standards

The standard described on this page is intended to assist landlords to provide reasonable standards within HMOs which are NOT licensable.

The Housing Act requires that when assessing living accommodation the Housing Health and Safety Rating System should be used, so in each individual case the property would need to be inspected before a definite requirement could be stated. These standards therefore are suggested until confirmed by a visit.

Fire safety

The LACORS guide to Fire Safety in Dwellings gives guidance on fire safety and is used by the Fire Authority in Cheshire. The case studies in the guide give a clear indication of what is required in different types of HMO eg, bedsits, self contained flats and shared houses on varying numbers of storeys. In cases of non standard dwellings we will be happy to arrange a visit with the fire officer to decide what is required. The guidance needs to be read in the light of this clarification document.

Sanitary facilities

A bath or shower is required for every 5 occupants or part thereafter,  so 1-5 occupants require 1 bath or shower, 6-10 occupants require 2 baths/showers, and so on.

A toilet is required for every 5 occupants or part thereof,  so 1-5 occupants require 1 toilet, 6-10 occupants require 2 toilets, and so on. Where there are 5 or more occupants, the toilet must be located in a separate room to the washing and bathing facilities.

A wash basin is required for every 5 occupants or part thereof, so 1-5 occupants require 1 wash basin, 6-10 occupants require 2 wash basins, and so on. A wash basin should be of an adequate size for personal washing. If small hand rinse basins are used in toilet compartments these will not count towards the wash basin provision. A wash basin or hand rinse basin must be placed with or close to the toilet. A kitchen sink cannot be used as a hand washing facility.

Kitchen facilities

A four ring cooker and a sink with drainer should be provided for the first 5 occupants, thereafter a cooker and sink will be required for every 3 occupants. So 6 occupants will require 2 sets of facilities, 9 people will require 3 sets, and so on. A dishwasher may be used to replace the second sink and a microwave oven may be used to replace the second cooker.

6 electrical sockets is considered adequate for up to 5 people, with an extra socket for each person above that number.

If you are a tenant or a landlord and would like to discuss anything on this page or would like to arrange a visit to an HMO please contact us.