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HMO information for tenants

Living in a HMO

Most people who live in a HMO enjoy the communal aspect of living and you can make some great friends this way, as well as paying lower living costs than you would renting alone. Other benefits include shared housework (some rental properties have contracted cleaners) and rent generally includes such things as council tax, utility bills, broadband etc meaning less budgeting and no need to worry about bill payments each month.

Before renting a HMO, check the  Minimum amenities for HMOs (PDF) [126KB] (opens new window)

Separate bedrooms should be available for each couple, each single adult over 21 years old and for every 2 young people over 10 years old.

Some HMO residents will enter into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).  Anyone entering into an AST agreement should be provided with a:

Working smoke alarms should be installed on each storey and working carbon monoxide detectors should be provided in rooms with solid fuel fires.

Click to see our leaflet  Information for tenants in the South Holland District (PDF) [519KB] (opens new window)  translated into the following languages:

HMO disrepairs

In general, as there are more people in a HMO property, wear and tear can be more intense, requiring repairs and replacements more frequently. As with a regular let property,  the landlord is responsible for repairs to electrical wiring, water and gas pipes, fixed heaters, radiators and water heaters, sinks, basins and toilets, as well as the structure of the building itself (walls, gutters, windows etc). Tenants must notify a landlord immediately when a repair is required but smaller repairs (such as changing a light bulb) are the responsibility of the tenant.

If you need to report a disrepair, contact the landlord or property agent in writing in the first instance, giving them an opportunity to put the matter right.  Click here form information and advice on Disrepairs for tenants (opens new window)

HMO licensing

Some HMOs require a licence (not all). The licence is obtained from the Council. It will normally be required where there are at least two  households living there, and in total there are five or more people living in the HMO building.

A landlord with a property that meets the above requirements must apply for a licence and will be assessed as to whether they are a 'fit and proper' person to be a HMO landlord. We will also look at factors such as the safety features of the property and its size.

If you are a tenant in a building that could be a HMO then it's a good idea to check that the landlord has a licence. You can view all the licensed HMO properties in the South Holland District by clicking HMO Public Register 2023 (PDF) [110KB] (opens new window)   

Landlords who don't obtain a licence when they should, can be subject to prosecution and/or an unlimited fine.  Also, a HMO landlord without a licence (who should have one) cannot use the Section 21 notice procedure (issuing an eviction notice).

Reclaim rent

You may be able to apply to a tribunal to reclaim some of your rent if your landlord has been prosecuted by the council for running an unlicensed HMO. Form RRO1: Application by tenant or local housing authority for a Rent Repayment Order (Housing and Planning Act 2016). (opens new window)

Further information is available for tenants on the following website: GOV.UK Private Renting: HMO (opens new window)