Standards for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
The Housing Act 1985 and the Housing Act 2004 give the council statutory powers to control living conditions in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
These powers cover matters such as repair, management standards, overcrowding, and provision of facilities for bathing, cooking and means of escape in case of fire. In some cases, HMOs are required to be licensed by the council.
This document contains guidance on the standards which Buckinghamshire Council will seek to achieve in all HMO accommodation, and the procedures for licensing.
Means of escape in case of fire is an important concern in HMOs and fire safety arrangements must not only satisfy the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 but also the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is enforced by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Planning permission and building regulation approval may also be required and you are advised to contact both departments for advice before you let or convert a property to an HMO.