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Houses in Multiple Occupation - Standards

If you live in a bedsit, share facilities, eg a bathroom or kitchen with other occupants in your house, live in a property divided into flats, then you probably live in a house in multiple occupation.

There should be

  • Smoke Detectors
  • Doors should be fire doors and have self-closing devices
  • There should be call points
  • If the house has more than two storeys (more than ground floor and first floor) then there should also be a fire alarm panel.

HMO Standards for Shared Houses/Flats, Self Contained Flats, Hostels and Bedsits

This guidance is intended to assist in the provision of accommodation in Houses in Multiple Occupation which contributes to a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors.

On inspection, a risk assessment may determine that it is necessary to take other measures to ensure that the housing standards are satisfactory for each individual unit of living accommodation or that variation from these standards is appropriate.

Maintenance of Fire Warning/Detection Systems

The manager/person in control must ensure that any fire fighting equipment, emergency lighting and fire alarms are maintained in good working order. A maintenance contract must be arranged (with a competent contractor) at the time of initial installation for regular servicing in accordance with the relevant British Standard. The system must also be tested on a weekly basis by the manager/person in control and all such tests should be properly recorded within the system log book supplied by the installer during the handover procedure.

Contact details

Contact details of the person responsible for the maintenance of the fire warning/detection systems should be displayed in a prominent position in accordance with the current management regulations.

HMO Minimum Room Sizes

Accommodation with Facilities Shared By Occupiers

These standards apply where there is sharing of some or all facilities:

  • occupiers live independently of others (single rooms and bedsits)
  • occupiers forming a group (eg students, professional persons and others who Interact socially)
HMO Minimums.............
Room Description   Minimums 
1 Person Unit  2 Person Unit
 Combined bedroom , living room and kitchen  13m²  20.5 m²
 Combined bedroom and living room  10m²  14m²
 Combined living room and kitchen  12m²  15m²
 Kitchen  4.5m²  4.5m²
 Living Room  9m²  12m²
 Bedroom  6.5m²  10m²


Kitchen and dining standards
  Where the Kitchen is shared by occupiers     Number of Persons
1 – 3  6 7-10
 Kitchen (minimum)  5m²  6m² 7m²  9m²  11m²
 Dining Area  2 m² per person is recommended    

Hostels – To include Guest House & Bed & Breakfast accommodation

Hostels including B&B
 Room Description Number of Occupants      
 1 3 4+
 Bedroom only  6.5m²  10m² 15 m²   Add 4.5 m² per each person over 3 occupants
 Combined Bedroom & Living Room  10m²  14m²  18.5 m²  Add 4.5 m² per each person over 3 occupants
 For shared use of occupants1-3  47-10
 Kitchen (all main meals* not provided)  5m²  6m²  7m²  9m² 11m²
Kitchen (all main meals provided) 5m² 5m² 5m² 5m² 7m²
 Communal living room (not required if individual bedroom & living room meet the standard above)  8.5m²  11m²  11m²  11m² 16.5m²

* Three meals a day (to be provided each day of the week)


Tel: 01304 872 397

Email: privatesectorhousing@dover.gov.uk