Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Welcome to part two of the HMO blog series on legislation and compliance. In this one I will be covering, HMO Furniture, Electrical Safety, Legionella Risks and more...
Before we start with part two... disclaimer: Any information contained in this blog is not to be taken or considered as legal or professional advice. I strongly advise you check for any new updates on the .gov website or speak with your local HMO Enforcement Officer.
Furniture in Your HMO Property
Furniture within your HMO must meet fire resistance standards as per the safety regulations click here
Furnishings and upholstered furniture such as the below must meet the safety standards:
Sofas (all types)
Beds, headboards, mattresses
Scatter cushions, bean bags, seat pads, pillows
Padded stools and padded chests
Garden furniture including loungers
Stretchable and loose covers on furniture
Most furniture manufactured since March 1989 (which would most likely be all the furniture!) will comply with the regulations and will have labels displaying that they do.
see image below:
HMO Electrical Safety
All properties let to tenants must be safe before a tenancy begins. Landlords in England are legally obliged to ensure national standards are met. You can do this by having an electrician carry out what is called: Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
This will check for certain faults and potential electrical hazards within the property. The report is valid for 5 years and again like the gas safety you must ensure a new one is carried out prior to the current one expiring.
Typical costs for these are around the £80 mark.
Legionella Risks and Tenanted Properties
If you are managing the HMO you are responsible for carrying out annual checks to minimise the risk of Legionnaires Disease. You must also take action is there is a risk of Legionnaires found in your property.
HMO properties due to having multiple tenants carry a much higher risk for Legionella and so these annual checks are absolutely vital. Ensure they are carried out or check your agent has had this done for you if they are managing the property.
In part one of this blog series we mentioned that there may well be extra legislations and guidelines in your area in addition to those we have mentioned.
The best approach with ever changing legislations is to always check with the relevant body what you are required to do by law. As previously mentioned in part one, you should have a chat and even invite your HMO Enforcement Officer to the property so they can inform you of anything you may have missed.
Compliance to legislations and laws is just part of the process and as long as you are aware and you are ensuring that you are fully compliant then your doing the right thing!
Failure to adhere to legislations is not worth the potential outcome, you risk fines, criminal charges and spending some time at her majesty's pleasure in the very worst of circumstances.
Make sure your tenants are safe, your properties are safe and sleep well at night yourself!