If you own a house in multiple occupation (HMO), you need to ensure that your tenants are kept safe from the risk of fire. EICR inspections can keep your HMO safe and in line with legal requirements.
The risk of fire is higher in an HMO than it is in a standard rental property. This is because:
- Locked rooms make it harder for tenants to exit the property in an emergency
- HMOs may have been developed in a way that makes it harder to exit the building
- Tenants may be less likely to be acquainted, making them less likely to help each other in case of a fire
According to the Government, residents are six times more likely to die in a fire if they live in an HMO. This makes EICR testing absolutely critical.
What are the regulations for EICR testing in HMOs?
You must make sure that your HMO is compliant in line with
- The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
- or The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006
Each local authority in England and Wales has an HMO enforcement officer who makes sure that HMOs in their area meet standards.
If your property meets the following criteria, you must apply for an HMO licence from your local council:
- The property is occupied by five or more people who form two or more households
- The residents share at least one bathroom, kitchen or toilet
(The criteria can vary from council to council, so check with your local authority. The rules are also different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.)
To get this licence, you must have a valid EICR certificate in place.
EICR inspections and HMOs
You must have each electrical installation in an HMO inspected and tested every five years by a ‘competent’ person.
After a satisfactory EICR inspection, you will be provided with a certificate that you can use to apply for an HMO licence.