HMO Communal Living

The nature of living in an HMO means that they have their own set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to understand what some of these rules are.
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a type of housing where multiple tenants live in the same building, but have separate rental or tenancy agreements. Becuase there are multiple tenants sharing one house, it is important for each tenant to understand their own obligations to the house community.
The list below relates to our HMO operations and whilst not exhaustive, it provides prosepective tenants and current tenants with the most commmon and important items realting to our HMO business and should be read in conjunction with our general Terms of Business which can be found on this web sit.
What is a HMO

The house is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

The house is a large HMO if both of the following apply:

  • at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together – including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, for example grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children
HMO Licencing

In short, no. Licensing will usually be required when the HMO is deemed to be a Large HMO. A Large HMO is:

  • A building at least 3 storeys high
  • Housing at least 5 tenants, forming more than 1 household
  • Facilities (bathroom, toilet, or kitchen) are shared with other occupants

Becuase the maximum number of occupants is four, the property at 16 Marshall Street is not deemed as a Large HMO and as such is classed as unlicenced by Leeds City Coouncil. 

What are the responsibilities of the landlord in an HMO?

The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property and ensuring that it meets safety and health standards. They are also responsible for providing essential services such as heating and hot water.

  • Ensuring that the property meets the necessary safety standards and regulations, such as fire safety, gas safety, and electrical safety
  • Providing and maintaining adequate common areas and facilities, such as bathrooms and kitchens
  • Ensuring that the property is in a good state of repair and is properly maintained
  • Managing any communal areas in a safe and appropriate manner
  • Providing tenants with a written tenancy agreement and a copy of the current gas safety certificate
  • Making sure that any furniture provided is fire-resistant
  • Meeting the requirement of having an HMO licence if the property is big enough and meets certain criteria
Maintaining Standards

As mentioned in the section above, as HMO landlords, we need to keep on top of health and safety issues in order to remain compliant with the local authority. 

Key things we are responsible for are

  • Gas safety – where there is a gas supply,  we must undertake annual checks.
  • Electrical safety – checks made every five years.
  • Fire safety – smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted, maintained and checked.
  • Rubbish disposal facilities provided.
  • Adequate cooking, cleaning, and washing facilities provided and maintained
  • Communal areas to be kept clear and clean.
  • Managing overcrowding issues.
Double Bedrooms - Single Occupancy

Our HMO Properties are all double bedroom size properties BUT are strictly single occupancy and this rule is very important as any violation could result in us being prosecuted by the local authority.

House Community

The importance of community in HMO (House in Multiple Occupancy) properties cannot be overstated. Not only do strong communities create a sense of belonging and security for residents, but they also lead to better maintenance of the property and a more pleasant living environment for all.

One of the key benefits of a strong community in an HMO property is that it promotes a sense of responsibility among residents. When residents feel a sense of ownership and pride in their living space, they are more likely to take care of the property and report any issues or repairs that need to be made. This leads to a well-maintained property that is safe and comfortable for all residents.

Another benefit of a strong community in an HMO property is that it creates a more pleasant living environment. When residents know and trust one another, they are more likely to be considerate of their neighbours and to work together to create a comfortable and welcoming space. This can lead to a reduction in conflicts and an overall increase in satisfaction among residents.

A strong community is vital for the success of HMO properties. It promotes responsibility among residents, leads to a more pleasant living environment, and helps to reduce turnover. Investing in community building activities like regular events, open communication and encouraging a sense of ownership among the tenants can go a long way in making the HMO property a homely place.

We will always act to benefit the HMO Community and if necessary, we will terminate the tenancy contract t of anyone who undermines the balance of the community.

House Visitors

Whillst vistors are weclome, there are very strict rules as to the number of occupants that can sleep at the property.  Leeds City Council rule that this hous is a Small HMO, which means it is regulated for four people or less.  This is very important as any breach of this ruling may lead to our prosecution. Understadibly, any tenant breaching this rule will be putting our livelihood at riskk and as such this is classed as a serious breach of the tenancy contract.

House Cleaning

The property is professionally cleaned once a week and this service is provided by us.  The cleaner is responsible for the communal areas of the house, including the hall stairs and landing.  However, the provision of a cleaner does not abdicate the responsibilities of tenants to keep communal areas clean, especially the kitchen, sink, ovens and hobs.

Tenants are fully responsible for the cleanliness of their rooms and whilst we cannot police the general tidiness of individual rooms, we will not tolerate unclean bathrooms, showers and toilets, in particular, the tenant must clean any mould build up on tiles, tile grout and silicon sealant with bleach based disinfectant.

Parking Permit

Permit parking is a system that regulates the use of parking spaces in certain areas by requiring vehicles to have a valid permit in order to park.  The goal of permit parking is to ensure that residents and businesses have access to convenient and reliable parking, while also reducing congestion and promoting safety.

To use permit parking, tenants must apply for a permit and display it on their vehicle while parked in the designated area. Permits are typically issued to residents, by the local authority and you must provide them with the tenancy agreement and the vehicle must be regisgtered at the property address. Permits may be valid for a specific period of time, such as a year, and must be renewed on a regular basis. 

It is important to note that having a valid permit does not guarantee a parking spot, it only allows the vehicle to park in the designated area. Enforcement of permit parking is usually done by parking enforcement officers who check for valid permits and issue fines to those without one.

It is important to have a valid permit because parking without one can result in fines or even your vehicle being towed. Additionally, having a valid permit ensures that residents have access to convenient and reliable parking, reducing congestion and promoting safety. Obtaining a permit is typically a simple process and can be done online or in person.

No Pets Policy

We have a strict no pets policy for a variety of reasons.  The main reason for our no pets policy is to ensure the safety and comfort of all residents. Some people have allergies to animals, and the presence of pets can trigger their symptoms. Furthermore, pets can be disruptive to other residents, causing noise and odors.

We also wish to protect the property from damage caused by animals. Pets can scratch or chew on doors, walls, and floors, causing costly repairs. Additionally, pets can cause stains on carpets and upholstery.

In summary, our rental properties have a no pets policy to protect the property, ensure the safety and comfort of all residents, and reduce the risk of liability for the landlord.


Communal WiFi refers to a wireless internet network that is shared among the residents of the property. This type of network is set up by us as a convenience and amenity. The advantage of communal WiFi is that it eliminates the need for each resident to set up and pay for their own individual internet service, and can provide a more reliable and faster connection than individual connections. However, with communal wifi, all the tenants share the same bandwidth and this can lead to slow internet speeds during peak usage times.  We provide communal internet for private leisure use and not for busines use as we cannot be responsible for the download speeds.  If  you work from home and  WIFI Speed is vital or important for your work, you should provide your own additional WIFI service.

Fair Usage Policy -WIFI

Fair Usage Policy for WIFI in our House in Multiple Occupancy

This fair usage policy outlines the acceptable use of the WIFI network in a house in multiple occupancy. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all residents have access to reliable and fast WIFI service.

  1. Unlimited Usage: The WIFI network is intended for unlimited use by all residents. However, excessive usage that affects the overall performance of the network for other residents is not permitted.

  2. Bandwidth-Intensive Applications: Residents are requested to avoid using bandwidth-intensive applications, such as peer-to-peer file sharing and gaming, during peak usage hours.

  3. Network Security: Residents are responsible for ensuring the security of their own devices and must not engage in any activity that may compromise the security of the WIFI network.

  4. Illegal Activities: The use of the WIFI network for illegal activities, such as downloading copyrighted material, is strictly prohibited.

  5. Service Interruptions: In the event of any service interruptions, we will make every effort to restore WIFI service as quickly as possible but this may be outside of our control.

  6. Complaints and Concerns: If a resident has a complaint or concern about the WIFI service, they should contact us for assistance.

By using the WIFI network in our House in Multiple Occupancy, residents agree to adhere to this fair usage policy. Failure to comply with this policy may result in the suspension or termination of WIFI service.

Whilst providing WIFI in our HMO for communal use by Tenants, we do not stipulate service standards,  WIFI is for recreatioal use only and its supply by us does not constitute any form of minimum level service contract.  For those who WIFI is essenital for work or business,  you must not rely on the WIFI service provided by us but must provide your own service sufficent for the level of service you require.

This fair usage policy is subject to change without notice. Residents are encouraged to periodically review this policy to ensure they are aware of any changes.

Drains and Drainage

Blocking drains can cause serious problems for both the landlord and tenants. It can lead to unpleasant odors, slow draining sinks and toilets, and even sewage backups. To prevent this, it is important not to flush inappropriate items down the toilet such as sanitary products, wipes, or grease, and to avoid disposing of large amounts of food waste in the sink. It’s also important to keep an eye on what goes down the shower and bath drains, as hair and soap scum can quickly build up and block the pipes. As landlords, we are responsible for maintaining the drains and pipes, so it is in our best interest to ensure they are not blocked.

Tenants must report any problems they encounter as soon as possible.

Communal Kitchen

Keeping a kitchen clean in our HMO  property is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, which can lead to illness and infection. A dirty kitchen can also attract pests such as cockroaches and mice, which can cause further health problems and damage to the property. Additionally, a clean kitchen can help to prolong the life of appliances and equipment, such as the oven and refrigerator, and can also improve the overall appearance of the property. This can be important in maintaining good tenant relations and keeping the property in good condition and it is the responsibility of the tenant community to keep the kitchen clean.

Outside Area

The external areas of the house must be kept free of any obstruction, such as bikes. Also, if tenants see any litter, we ask them too pick it up and dispose of it in an appropriate way, we want to keep the exterior of the property clean and tidy and we need the assistance of the house community to do this.

Heating and Energy Use

Energy use is important in a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) property because it directly affects the operating costs of the property. High energy consumption can lead to higher utility bills and increased maintenance costs. Additionally, energy efficiency can have a positive impact on the environment and can help reduce the property’s carbon footprint. Properly managing energy use can also improve the comfort and livability of the property for tenants, which can help attract and retain renters.  Where Utility costs are included in the rent amount, tenants have a responibilty to make sure that the heating in their rooms is not left on when they are not in residence or is not left on when the windows or doors are open.

Fair Use - Utilities

Introduction: This policy outlines the fair usage of utilities in our House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO). It is essential for all tenants to understand their responsibilities and obligations with regards to the use of utilities in the property. This policy is implemented to ensure that our tenants use the utilities both legally and within reasonable and sensible limits.

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all tenants use the utilities in a responsible and fair manner, avoiding waste and ensuring that bills are fair and  equitable.

Scope: This policy applies to all tenants of the HMO property, including electricity, gas, water, and any other utilities provided by the landlord.

Responsibilities of Tenants:

  1. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that all utilities are used in a reasonable manner and not wasted.
  2. Tenants must report any leaks or issues with utilities promptly to the landlord.
  3. Tenants must not tamper with the utilities or make any alterations without the landlord’s permission.
  4. Tenants must not use excessive amounts of utilities, such as leaving lights or appliances on when not in use or when not necessary.

Billing and Payment:

  1. Utilities are covered by the landlord on a monthly or quarterly basis, the cost of which is shared by tenants from  rent.
  2. Tenants who use excessive amounts of utilities will be asked to pay an additional fee.


  1. The landlord reserves the right to revert to none inclusive rent to cover utilities if a tenant breaches this fair usage policy.
  2. If a tenant continues to breach this policy, the landlord may take legal action to recover any costs incurred.

We believe this policy will encourage our tenants to be considerate in their use of these services by ensuring there is not unnecessary wastage of energy, water or other utiliites.

Conclusion: This fair usage policy is designed to ensure that all tenants in the HMO property use utilities responsibly and equitably. By adhering to this policy, tenants can help to reduce waste, keep utility bills low, and maintain a pleasant living environment for all residents.


CCTV cameras are placed outside of the property as a security measure to deter crime and monitor the comings and goings of residents and visitors, we have two cameras placed one at the rear and one at the front.  CCTV cameras are used for monitoring the safety and maintenance of the property, such as ensuring that fire exits are not blocked and monitoring the condition of common areas.  If necessasry, our cameras can also be used to identify individuals involved in criminal activity or to gather evidence in the event of a crime. Overall,  we use CCTV cameras as a security tool to keep the residents and the property safe.

Keys and Digital Locks
Tenants are responsible for the safekeeping of their house keys. If the keys are lost or stolen, it is the tenant’s responsibility to inform us immediately.  It is our policy that tenants are required to pay a fee for lost keys, or we may require the tenant to pay for a locksmith to change the locks. The tenant should be aware of their responsibilities regarding keys and fees in their rental agreement.  If tenants forget the code for their digital door lock, we can supply it but will only do so at reasonable hours of the day or night, please do not call us in the early hours of the morning because you have forgotten your keys or digital lock code.
Rubbish Bins

Tenants are typically responsible for putting their own waste and recycling bins out for collection on designated days. This may include ensuring that the bins are placed outside for collection or designated area by a certain time on the collection day, and bringing them back in after they have been emptied. Tenants should also ensure that their bins are not overflowing, as this can attract pests and create a health hazard. Additionally, tenants may be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their bins, such as washing them out regularly to prevent odors. It is important for tenants to familiarize themselves with the specific policies regarding waste and recycling collection days.

Fire Alarm

The fire alarm system is installed in the HMO to alert the occupants in the event of a fire. It is designed to detect smoke or heat and activate an alarm to alert the occupants of the building. It is an important safety feature that helps to ensure that everyone can safely evacuate the building in the event of a fire. It is the legal obligation of the landlord to make sure the fire alarm system is working properly and to carry out regular maintenance. It is also important for tenants to know how to respond to a fire alarm and to evacuate the building safely when the alarm sounds.  If the alarm sounds, please do not assume that it is a false alarm, it might not be! 

Hanging Pictures etc

Please, under no circumstances hang any pictures or other items which require banging a nail or other item into the walls. There are pipes, electric cables and fire alarm cables running inn the wall voids and without knowing where they are, putting up pictures or other items could result in a serious damage to the property.

Tenants should not hang pictures or paintings on walls because it can cause damage to the walls and is against the terms of the lease agreement. Additionally, it may be difficult and costly to remove the items and restore the walls to their original condition when the tenant moves out. 

Allocated Kitchen Space

Allocated cupboards in a shared HMO kitchen are important because they provide each tenant with a designated space to store their food, dishes, and cooking equipment. This helps to prevent confusion and conflicts over shared resources, and ensures that each tenant has a sense of privacy and control over their own living space. Additionally, having allocated cupboards can make it easier to keep the shared kitchen clean and organized, as each tenant is responsible for keeping their own designated area tidy. Overall, allocated cupboards in a shared HMO kitchen can help to create a more harmonious and comfortable living environment for everyone.

Electrical Tripping

Each bedrooms is fitted with its own Consumer Unit, which is independant of the main house Consumer Unit. This means that if there is an appliance fault leading to a tripped fuse, then it should only trip the circuit in your roomm and not the house circuit.  If the house circuit trips, it will be because of a fault on the commmuncal circuit.  For more information on how to reset a tripped fuse, please see our page on Electric Issues

Applying For a HMO Tenancy

We take pride in providing a modern clean, comfortable, and safe living environment for our HMO Tenants.

We would like to take a moment to inform all prospective HMO tenancy applicants that renting one of our properties requires a high level of responsibility. HMO living is shared living so it is essential that you respect your fellow house mates and neighbours privacy and their right to quiet enjoyment of their own property.  If you are unable to adhere to these requirements, we kindly request that you do not apply for one of our tenancies.

Living in a communal property requires that you act in the interest of the house community.  At our HMO, we strive to create a positive living environment for all tenants. We understand that everyone has different lifestyles and schedules, but we ask that you are considerate of your housemates at all times.  Tenants are expected to keep their own personal living enviroment clean, and tidy and alongside the house community, help keep the common areas of the property clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy. We kindly request that all tenants are conscious of the environment and help maintain the cleanliness of the property by ensuring litter outside the property is cleared away promptly.

Very importantly, we have a zero-tolerance policy for disruptive and anti-social behavior and any violation of our rules and regulations may result in termination of the tenancy and eviction.

Thank you for considering one of our properties as your future home. If you have any questions or concerns about living in one of our properties, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information, please read the Web Page specific to your HMO property