2019 Tenancy Laws

Minimum room size:  Single room size: 6.51m2 or 10.22m2 for 2 persons.

It is a criminal offence to allow an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) to be occupied by more persons than it is licensed for. It is also illegal to fail to meet the HMO licensing conditions and could result in losing the license.

The HMO licensed landlord can:

  • Control the maximum number of occupants;
  • Criminal landlords who have committed offences will not be granted an HMO license.


Fire Safety

  • Test your fire alarm regularly.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Do not keep dry clothes on heaters.
  • Switch off electrical appliances and sockets when you’re not using them.
  • Identify an escape route at the property.
  • Do not microwave tin and foil.
  • If you smoke, make sure it is distinguished properly before you leave it.
  • Keep the hob, grill and oven clean. Grease and a build up of fat can easily catch fire.


Your Rights

The landlord should:

  • Maintain the structure of the house including guttering, drains and pipes.
  • Maintain the structure and safety of the gas, water and electricity in the property.
  • Provide the landlords full time and address.
  • Provide a valid and current gas certificate.
  • Provide an energy performance certificate.
  • Give 24hr notice before entering the property.


You should:

  • Perform the smaller tasks that need to be fixed e.g. a blown fuse or changing a lightbulb.
  • Not damaging the house and paying for any repairs that need to be carried out.
  • Put your bins out on time and make sure it is collected.
  • Making sure the property is locked when you leave it.
  • Reporting all repairs that need to be dealt with, the problem will only be dealt with when it is reported.



Houses of multiple occupation are properties where family are not sharing, it could be friends, students etc. Types of HMO include shared houses, flats, bedsit, lodgings, accommodation for workers.


Council Tax

If you are a full-time student, you will be exempt from council tax and shouldn't have to pay any. You may have to get a certificate from the University as evidence that you are a full-time student but once your housing agency/landlord has got that, you will be exempt.


Basic DIY

  • Stopcock: Got a leak or a burst pipe? Look under your kitchen sink to find the stopcock and turn it off.
  • Fuse: these are switches that control the electrical circuits in the property. If you have a power cut, check these haven’t moved.
  • Smoke alarms: It is the landlord's responsibility to make sure a smoke alarm is installed in the property, but the tenants should maintain them and make sure they work. They should be tested regularly, and sensors should be cleaned out so help with its function.
  • Meter keys: If your meters are outside, you should have some keys to unlock it. Keys for the gas meter are black and yellow.