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HMO management

If you are managing an HMO you should be aware of your legal responsibilities and what you need to do to look after your property and your tenants.

In Wales there are two sets of management regulations you need to keep to. The regulations you need to meet depend on the property you are managing. The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2007 on for Section 257 HMOs (those split into self-contained flats) and The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 on for other HMOs.

You also need to meet any licensing requirements which apply to your HMO. 

Both sets of regulations contain the same type of requirements.  These are giving information to occupiers, keeping the accommodation safe, clean and in good repair, making sure that fire safety measures and precautions are maintained, maintaining safe water, drainage, gas and electricity supplies, taking care of common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances and providing facilities for waste disposal.

Occupiers also have responsibilities under the regulations.  These are to allow the manager reasonable access to the property; to not prevent the manager carrying out their legal duties; to provide relevant information when asked by the manager and to store and dispose of litter properly as directed by the manager.

If you fail to meet the management regulations you may be prosecuted.  

As an HMO manager you may decide that you also want to become accredited. Landlord Accreditation Wales provides information and help on property management issues.

Management and HMO licensing

Each licence applicant has to give details to the council of how the property is being managed and a licence will only be granted if the council is satisfied about these arrangements. 

Both the proposed licence holder and manager need to be a 'fit and proper' person. You can read more about this on our licensing of houses in multiple occupation page.

If you are managing a licensable HMO don't forget to ask the landlord to see a copy of their HMO licence before you let or take over management of the property and make sure that the number of occupiers doesn't exceed the maximum number on the licence. Make sure you see both the licence and the schedule of any work that is included as licence conditions. If in doubt, contact us to check on the licence status. The licence holder will need to apply to the council for a variation of the licence if there is a change of manager.

A person having control of or managing a property commits an offence if they let a licensable HMO without a licence, or if they let to more people than the maximum number allowed by the licence. If taken to court and found guilty you could be fined up £20,000.

Fit and proper

Before the council can grant a licence it must determine if the proposed licence holder or manager of the house is a fit and proper person. For this purpose the
following matters are relevant if any such person has:

  • committed an offence involving fraud, dishonesty, violence, drugs or sexual offences listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • practised unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic, or national origins or disability in connection with a business 
  • contravened any provision of the law relating to housing or of landlord and tenant law 
  • acted in contravention of any Approved Code of Practice made under the Housing Act 2004.

If you are unsure as to whether a property is licensed you can check the HMO public register or contact us. You can also check with us if you're not sure about whether an HMO needs a licence.