To determine whether tenants or property owners are responsible for cleaning the communal areas in a HMO, it is important to have a look at the regulations and the type of tenancy agreement.
According to ‘The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations (2006)’, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the HMO, ensuring it is ‘maintained in good and clean decorative repair’ and ‘kept reasonably clear from obstruction’. Therefore, the regulations clearly state that it is primarily the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the HMO.
Although it is primarily the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the HMO communal areas are clean, there are various tenancy agreements which may also state that tenants should also play a role in keeping the communal areas of the HMO clean.
Property owners who are letting rooms to individual tenants (i.e., each tenant has a separate AST for their bedroom), then it is often the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that communal areas of a HMO are clean. Property owners often do this by hiring a professional cleaning agent, but they may also delegate the task to the tenants.
On the other hand, in joint ASTs where all tenants are jointly liable for the property, then the tenants would be responsible to clean the communal areas. However, it is possible that the tenants may have disagreements amongst themselves when scheduling the times to clean and therefore, property owners are expected to be responsible for cleaning the communal areas even in the case of joint ASTs.
The information in this post is valid to the best of our knowledge on the date of posting. It is advised that you seek independent advice based on your individual circumstances.
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