Factors to be considered

roof tiles

The 2006 Act requires that local authorities are satisfied that the accommodation is suitable for occupation as an HMO (or can be made suitable by the inclusion of licence conditions).  Section 131(2) sets out various factors that the authority must consider when coming to a decision on suitability of the accommodation.  These are:
  • the location of the accommodation
  • the condition of the accommodation
  • any amenities the accommodation contains
  • the type and number of persons likely to occupy the accommodation
  • whether any rooms have been subdivided
  • whether any rooms have been adapted, resulting in an alteration to the situation of the water and drainage pipes within the accommodation
  • the safety and security of persons likely to occupy the accommodation
  • the possibility of undue public nuisance.


4.4.1   The local authority is required to consider the location of the accommodation in assessing whether it is suitable for occupation as an HMO. 

4.4.2   This would allow a local authority to take account of the locality, where it would be unsuitable for an HMO. For example there might be a lack of safe access, or other factors that could endanger residents.


4.5.1   Another factor which must be considered is the condition of the accommodation.  In general terms, this is likely to cover the physical condition of the premises such as whether it is watertight, wind-tight, well ventilated, as well as any additional aspects which might make the accommodation unfit for occupation as an HMO e.g. lack of adequate heating, damp, missing treads on stairs, lack of sound-proofing or inadequate dividing walls between bedrooms.  However, authorities should take into account any material they consider relevant to their assessment.

4.5.2   Suggested standards which authorities should consider in relation to this factor are as follows:

Space heating

4.5.3   Each bedroom and living room should have a fixed controllable space heating appliance. 

4.5.4   Where there is a central heating system, which may include any system of warm air or under floor heating, it must be capable of maintaining a temperature of 18° Centigrade (in the bedrooms and living rooms) when the outside temperature is minus 1° Centigrade (a higher temperature may be specified where the HMO is intended to be occupied by older people or others who need additional heating).

4.5.5   In a smaller dwelling the boiler should be capable of being controlled from a communal area, alternatively in larger establishments such as university halls of residence, a centrally controlled system would be more appropriate.

4.5.6   There must be a certificate stating that the central heating system is working properly.

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