The HMO legislation came into force in 2000 to protect potentially inexperienced or vulnerable groups of tenants in a variety of ways – ensuring minimum standards in, for example, fire safety and fit out.

HMO license

To let an HMO property, a landlord must have an HMO license that covers both the landlord personally and the property. Licences must be renewed every 3 years and properties can be inspected at any time by an HMO inspector.

HMO certificates

Landlords need to evidence that the property has certain safety equipment; that safety checks have been carried out; and that tenants have had appropriate training to maintain and test safety equipment. Cairn carry out tenant training and will help you obtain the necessary certificates:

  • Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Portable Appliance Test
  • Periodic Inspection Report
  • Fire Fighting Equipment Service Report
  • Smoke and Heat Alarm Service Report
  • Fire Risk Assessment
  • Emergency Light Service Report

Cairn will provide a fire notice board with necessary record sheets and the equipment needed to meet fire department requirements. Please take the time to carry out the testing we recommend, and to fill in the record sheet.

HMO and fire department need to see these certificates and (as appropriate) evidence of compliance on application for the HMO Licence or any renewal.

Moving tenants in

At Cairn we meet all tenants personally and carry out industry standard vetting procedures including credit, employment and prior landlord references. We endeavour to ensure that our tenants are reliable.

It is vital that all tenants are educated on how to live in an HMO property to ensure a smooth tenancy. Our move-in tenant training includes:

  • What to do in a fire?
  • How to test smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
  • Safe candle use
  • What to do if party got out of hand?
  • How to use all appliances?
  • Neighbour consideration
  • How to comply with HMO safety requirements

We spend extra time at the move-in to help your tenancy be as straightforward as possible. Meter readings are taken at this point. Smoking is not permitted in any of our properties.

During the tenancy

Cairn periodically inspect your property throughout the tenancy to ensure it is kept to a satisfactory standard. We note and photograph any cleaning, repair and maintenance. We repeat fire safety training throughout the lease and in particular update on safety measures or any new legislation. Our property managers are on hand to take your queries and deal, as quickly as possible, with any issues. We mean it when we say “don’t hesitate to get in touch”. We’ll give you notice when we want to carry out an inspection. It is very useful for more than half of the tenants to be present at that inspection, so let us know if the time doesn’t suit and we can rearrange. The inspection is your chance to talk to us, and also our chance to update fire safety training – but we do need minimum numbers.

Moving tenants out

Cairn will complete the check out of your property, recording any maintenance, damage or cleaning required before deposit release. Meter Readings are also taken here.


HMO properties will take a little more wear and tear due to the number of people living in them. Cairn will provide an affordable quick, reliable service. We have a trusted relationship with our team of experienced qualified and certified tradesmen.