A HMO Landlord’s Guide To Minimum Living Requirements

If you’re a HMO landlord in Liverpool it’s important to be aware of the UK government’s space  standards, even if your property doesn’t require a licence. 

Space standards have been put in place to ensure HMO tenants can enjoy sufficient comfortable  living space when residing in a shared property. These space standards dictate minimum bedroom  sizes as well as ratios for toilets and bathrooms, so to remain compliant with the law, as a HMO  landlord in Liverpool you need to know those requirements and adhere to them.


What is the Minimum Legal Bedroom Size for a HMO Property in Liverpool? 

  • For a single person, the government’s minimum legal bedroom size in an HMO is 6.51 m2.
  • For a couple sharing, the minimum size is larger at 10.22m2. 

If a bedroom doesn’t meet these size standards, you could be fined or even be given a prison  sentence for as long as 18 months. Although these figures represent the minimum standards for the  UK overall, local councils may sometimes set minimum room sizes of their own, so make sure you  investigate with your local authority to ensure you’re meeting their requirements.


What are HMO Minimum Bathroom Requirements? 

You must provide at least one bathroom for every five HMO tenants. It should contain a hand basin,  toilet, and shower or bath. Exceeding these requirements is always a good idea wherever possible  since it will help to increase demand for the property. If you have ensuite bathrooms attached to  some, but not all, of your bedrooms, subtract those occupiers and bathrooms before you calculate  how many communal bathrooms you need. 


Is There a Minimum Kitchen Size for HMO Properties?

HMOs must have a kitchen measuring a minimum of 7m2 for 5 or fewer occupants. If your property has more tenants, the kitchen must be larger: 

  • 8m2 for 6 – 7 tenants 
  • 9m2 for 8 – 9 tenants 
  • 10m2 for ten occupants 

The available kitchen space must be larger if your property has no separate living area:  

  • 11.5m2 for five or fewer tenants 
  • 13m2 for six tenants 
  • 15m2 for seven tenants 
  • 16m2 for eight tenants 
  • 18m2 for nine tenants 
  • 19.5m2 for ten tenants 

There are also requirements in place for kitchen equipment and appliances. For every five tenants in  the property, a HMO kitchen requires a minimum of one cooker, one standard-sized fridge, and one  sink (although if there are over five tenants, a dishwasher can replace a second sink). Each occupant must have at least one power outlet, 0.2m2 of countertop space and a wall unit of at least 40cm in  width.  


Do HMOs Need a Separate Living Room? 

HMO landlords in Liverpool aren’t legally required to provide tenants with a separate living room if  the kitchen is big enough to meet the government’s space requirements. However, it’s highly  recommended that a living area is provided for tenants in shared accommodation. Local councils will  set out their own requirements with regards to living areas, so make sure to carry out enquiries to keep your HMO property compliant. If your HMO has any rooms that aren’t large enough to rent out  as bedrooms, you could consider turning those into communal spaces that your tenants can use, for  example TV or games rooms, or even small home offices.  

To find out more about ensuring that your property is compliant with the government requirements  and to take the hard work out of managing your HMO in Liverpool, get in touch with the team at 0151 329 3538 or email us here

Stay In The Loop

Sign up to our newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Unit N, Baltic Creative,
  • 49 Jamaica Street,
  • Liverpool,
  • L1 0AH
Opening Hours

Our normal office hours are:

  • Monday - Friday - 09:00-18:00
  • Saturday - 10:00-16:00
  • Sunday – Closed