Landlords and tenants

Responsibilities of the landlord / owner / manager

Under the mandatory licensing scheme a HMO must be licensed if its occupied by:

  • Five or more people

  • who form two or more households and:

  • who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities. 

The licence ensures that the property is managed correctly and meets safety standards. These safety standards include fire safety.

Here are a few areas to consider:

  • Have the fire precautions from your fire risk assessment been implemented in the common areas to eliminate or reduce the risks identified to the lowest possible level?

  • Do the escape routes require the provision of a fire barrier between the common areas and living accommodation to create a protected route to the place of ultimate safety? Escape routes should always be free of any obstructions. 

  • The need for a fire detection and warning system and whether this should be included in the living accommodation. 

  • Is there a need for emergency escape lighting?

  • Is fire fighting equipment and facilities needed? 

  • Is there a need for signs and notices?

  • Recording, planning, informing, instructing and training which will require producing a fire action plan.

Below is some further information to support you:

LACORS fire safety guide is intended for buildings which have been constructed or adapted for use as a domestic property and includes HMO's. However it doesn't apply to properties constructed or converted to a standard in compliance with the building regulations 1991 or later. 

Tenant Fire Safety

Here are some Do's and Don'ts.


  • Become familiar with escape routes and exits from the building. The final exit door from a HMO should be easily openable from the inside without the use of a key. This also applies to exit doors from each flat or bedsit.

  • Unplug electrical appliances at night.

  • Close communal and bedroom doors, particularly when people are sleeping. Including during the day when those who may work nights would be sleeping. 

  • Check for burning cigarettes before going to bed.

  • Keep storage to designated areas.


  • Wedge open fire doors.

  • Remove door closing devices.

  • Tamper with fire alarms or equipment.

  • Overfill chip pans.

  • Smoke in bed.

  • Block halls and stairways, including bikes, pushchairs etc.

  • Overload plug sockets or have extension leads running of extension leads.

  • Leave matches, cooking or heating appliances unattended.

Student Fire Safety

Last updated: Tuesday 18 May 2021