Guidance on Houses in Multiple Occupation Amenity Standards

These amenity provisions are the recommended minimum requirement for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), whether the building requires a mandatory licence or not. The level of amenity provision depends on the number of occupiers sharing the accommodation and the type of accommodation, for example a shared house or bedsit accommodation. The facilities should be located not more than one floor distant from the people who use them (unless there is a shared or common dining area available) and they should be in a convenient position to enable occupiers to use them comfortably

Kitchen or kitchen diner facilities must be positioned to ensure they can be safely used. For example the cooker must not be located adjacent to or behind the kitchen door, the work surface must be not be chipped or pitted and the floor must be laid and maintained to prevent slips, trips and falls. Guidance for landlords and property related professionals has been published in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

Cooking Facilities

The level of cooking facility largely depends on whether the occupiers have exclusive or shared use of facilities. No shared kitchen may have any more than 2 sets of facilities to be shared by a maximum of 10 sharers.

Shared Cooking Facilities

Where shared kitchens are provided, the following facilities can be used by up to 5 people:

  • A 4 ring gas or electric hob plus oven and grill, positioned so that the hobs are at worktop level
  • A sink and integrated drainer with a tiled splashback and a constant supply of hot and cold running water for food preparation
  • Adequate worktop with a minimum of 2000mm of linear useable worktop and the standard depth of generally 600mm - please ignore 300mm on each side of the cooker and any inaccessible corners as useable food preparation space
  • Food storage units of standard depth at 300mm and height of 720mm by 400mm width, or base unit that is not a sink unit of equivalent volume at 0.08m3 for each person
  • At least 4 double plug socket outlets in addition to those servicing major appliances - for example, a microwave oven, refrigerator or washing machine
  • Standard sized refrigerator providing sufficient space for the equivalent of approximately 1 shelf per occupier at the approximate volume of 155 litres or 0.15m3 - a mini fridge is not acceptable to share
  • A standard sized lidded bin

Between 6 and 8 occupiers the following must be provided:

  • 2 cookers each with a 4 ring gas or electric hob plus oven and grill or a single 4-ring hob with an oven and grill, plus a combination microwave oven positioned so that the hobs are at worktop level
  • 2 sinks with integrated drainers with a tiled splashback and a constant supply of hot and cold running water for food preparation, or 1 sink and a dishwasher
  • An extra 500mm of worktop per occupier to a maximum of 3000mm
  • A food storage unit of standard depth at 300mm and a height of 720mm by a 400mm width, or base unit that is not a sink unit with the equivalent volume of 0.08m3 for each person
  • At least 6 double plug socket outlets in addition to those servicing major appliances
  • A large refrigerator or a standard sized fridge freezer
  • A standard sized swing bin

Between 9 and 10 occupiers the following must be provided:

  • 2 cookers each with a four ring gas or electric hob, plus oven and grill that is positioned so that the hobs are at worktop level
  • 2 sinks and integrated drainer with a tiled splashback provided and a constant supply of hot and cold running water for food preparation or 1 sink and a dishwasher
  • Adequate worktop at a minimum of 3000mm long with a standard depth of generally 600mm. You must ignore 300mm on each side of the cooker as food preparation space this is too close to the cooker to be used safely
  • A food storage unit of standard depth at 300mm with a height of 720mm by 400mm width, or base unit which is not a sink unit, with the equivalent volume of 0.08m3 for each person
  • At least 6 double plug socket outlets in addition to those servicing major appliances
  • 2 standard sized refrigerators providing sufficient space for the equivalent of approximately 1 shelf per occupier with the approximate volume of 155 litres or 0.15m3. Mini fridges are not acceptable to share
  • 2 standard sized lidded bins

Exclusive Cooking Facilities

Where a tenant has integral cooking facilities in their own bedsit they must be provided with at least:

  • A 2 ring gas or electric hob plus and oven and grill which is ideally positioned so that the hobs are at worktop level
  • A sink and integrated drainer with a tiled splashback provided and a constant supply of hot and cold running water for food preparation
  • Adequate worktop with a minimum of 1000mm long and the standard depth of generally 600mm
  • A single food storage unit of standard depth at 300mm and a height of 720mm by 400mm wide, or base unit which is not a sink unit, of equivalent volume
  • Standard refrigerator, there is no requirement for a freezer to be provided.
  • Adequate internal lidded rubbish bin
  • At least 4 plug socket outlets in addition to those servicing major appliances

Amenity Standards for Shared Toilet and Bathroom Facilities

Lettings within houses in multiple occupation should include either:

  • Exclusive use of individual bath or shower room and WC facilities as set out in the general standard for rented accommodation, or
  • Where amenities are shared, the following ratios of amenities to occupiers are considered suitable for the purposes of providing an adequate number of bathrooms, toilets and wash-hand basins that are suitable for personal washing for the number of persons sharing those facilities:
  • Up to 4 persons sharing: 1 bathroom, containing a bath or shower, wash basin and WC, with all hot and cold water supplies and drainage.
  • 5 persons sharing: 1 bathroom and in addition, a separate WC and wash basin must be provided in the house in a separately accessible compartment. The bathroom might contain just a bath or shower and wash basin.
  • 6 to 8 persons sharing: 2 bathrooms, containing a bath or shower, wash basin and WC, with all hot and cold water supplies and drainage.
  • 9 to 10 persons sharing: 2 complete bath or shower rooms, at least 1 of which must have a WC fitted. In addition, a separate WC with basin in a separate compartment must be provided.
  • 11 to 15 persons sharing: 3 complete bath or shower rooms, at least 2 of which must have a WC fitted. In addition, a separate WC with basin in a separate compartment must be provided.
  • 16 to 20 persons sharing: 4 complete bath or shower rooms, at least 3 of which must have a WC fitted. In addition, a separate WC with basin in a separate compartment must be provided.
  • General rule: for 5 or more sharing occupiers there should be fitted bath or shower rooms in the ratio 1 bathroom to every five occupiers. There should be WCs fitted, in the ratio 1 WC to every five occupies but at least one WC with wash basin must be sited in a separately accessible compartment.
  • All bathrooms and WCs to be supplied with hot and cold water as applicable and waste drainage. Tiled splashbacks to be provided for areas adjacent to baths, to areas above wash basins and to the walls of shower enclosures. Washable, impervious floor coverings to be fitted in all bath or shower rooms and WC compartments.

External WCs do not count towards the minimum requirement above.

  • Wash hand basins: Where 5 or more persons occupy a HMO, a wash hand basin with hot and cold water and a tiled slash back should be provided, where reasonably practicable, within each letting unless a sink is already provided of sufficient size to allow personal washing. This benefits occupiers by allowing personal washing within rooms.

The most appropriate installations would be in rooms with adequate space for siting such a facility:

  • Access to existing waste drainage.
  • Sufficient falls within the drainage system to ensure waste water is properly disposed of.

Crowding and space within bedsits and shared houses

  • The minimum standards for overcrowding apply to HMO's but in addition there are considerations such as the floor space taken up by kitchens in rooms and whether there are communal lounges or dining rooms within the house, in which case, the bedroom size can be reduced because the occupants have access to a living space in the house. If no communal space is provided, an allowance must be made in the bed sitting room for seating or television. In general, the following minimum space standards apply:
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One person unit with communal space Floor Area
One person unit with no kitchen 6.5m² or 70ft²
One person unit with kitchen 9.5m² or 105ft²

 

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One person unit with no communal space  Floor Area
One person unit with no kitchen 8m² or 85ft²
One person unit with kitchen 11m² or 120ft²

 

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Two person unit with communal space Floor Area
Two person unit with no kitchen 10.5m² or 110ft²
Two person unit with kitchen 13.5 m² or 145ft²

 

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Two person unit with no communal space  Floor Area
Two person unit with no kitchen 13m² or 140ft²
Two person unit with kitchen 16m² or 175ft²

 

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