Do you need to carry out a PAT test, EICR, or fire risk assessment in an HMO?
This guide will show you how to stay legally compliant and protect your tenants.
What is an HMO?
A house of multiple occupation, or HMO, is a type of rental property where certain facilities are shared between tenants.
The Government’s definition of an HMO is a property where the toilet, bathroom, and kitchen facilities are shared between tenants. Three or more tenants must live in the property, forming more than one family unit.
A ‘large’ HMO is one that is shared by five or more tenants.
All large HMOs must be licensed by the local authority. Other smaller HMOs may or may not need to be licensed – different local authorities will have different regulations.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement for HMOs?
Do HMO landlords have to do PAT tests? The answer depends on the location of your property.
PAT testing in HMOs in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is not a legal requirement. However, your local authority may ask for proof of PAT testing to license your property.
HMO properties in Scotland must have PAT testing carried out as part of an ‘electrical safety inspection’ every five years.
Even if PAT testing is not required as part of the licensing process, it’s an effective and efficient way of ensuring the electrical equipment in your property is safe.
HMOs and EICRs
All rental properties in England, Wales, and Scotland, regardless of whether they are HMOs or not, must have EICR inspections carried out every five years.
HMOs and fire risk assessments
It’s crucial that HMOs are protected against the risk of fire. Occupants of an HMO are more at risk of dying or being seriously injured than any other type of rental property.
A fire risk assessment will identify any fire hazards in an HMO and what needs to be done to ensure residents can safely exit the building in an emergency.
As part of the HMO licensing process, landlords will be asked to provide a copy of a recent fire risk assessment.