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HMO standards and enforcement

We are the local housing authority for Bedford Borough and are responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 and the associated regulations to uphold standards in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

We risk assess all known and suspected HMOs according to the following health and safety criteria:

  • fire safety
  • gas safety
  • electrical safety
  • repairs
  • amenity provision
  • management
  • HMO licensing

We have a duty to take action to remedy hazards, using improvement notices or prohibition orders and we can also issue civil penalties to landlords.

We will work constructively with landlords to help them improve their properties in the best way to make sure they are compliant but still retain the basic HMO qualities. It is not the Council's intention to impose unnecessary improvements or 'gentrification' on this important housing sector.

Fire safety standards

HMOs require a higher level of fire precautions than single family homes and may include measures such as mains wired interlinked fire alarm system, emergency lighting and a fully protected means of escape.  

Read our HMO Good Practice Guide (PDF) for detailed information on the standards required for HMOs (and other types of rented accommodation). 

You can also see other guidance about what is required as a landlord:

Contact ehadmin@bedford.gov.uk for more information about standards for HMOs.

Advice for HMO tenants

See our pages on private rented accommodation for information about what you can do if you have concerns about the safety or condition of your shared home.