HMO Standards


The minimum room sizes for HMO properties with 5 or more sharing are:

  • 6.51 m² for one person over 10 years of age.
  • 10.22 m² for two persons over 10 years of age,
  • 4.64 m² for one child under the age of 10 years

It will be a mandatory condition that any room of less than 4.64 m² may not be used as sleeping accommodation.

These size conditions are the statutory minimum and local housing authorities will continue to have the discretion to set their own higher standards within the licence conditions. If your room does not meet these standards landlords can be provided up to 18 months to comply.


Please refer to the HMO Standards Document for amenity requirements.

Waste Disposal

All licences issued after 1 October 2018 will include a condition requiring compliance with the council's storage and waste disposal scheme. The scheme for Portsmouth City Council is that rubbish and recycling bins/boxes/bags must be presented at the front boundary by 7.00am on the day of collection (and not before 7.00pm the day before) and bins/ boxes taken back inside the property boundary on the same day. If a licence holder does not comply with this scheme it will be a breach of the licence and is a criminal offence.

Landlords or managers should abide by certain standards applicable to HMOs. For example, a manager has a duty to ensure the property is maintained in a good condition, that the water, gas and electricity supplies are maintained, the common areas are kept clean and in good repair, the living accommodation is maintained and arrangements are made for the storage of refuse. Residents are also required not to hamper or frustrate the manager from carrying out these responsibilities.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (commonly referred to as the HHSRS)

The Housing Act introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) in 2006 as a means of identifying and evaluating defects and deficiencies that may have a potential effect on the health and safety of the occupiers and visitors in a dwelling or house in multiple occupation.

A rating score is produced for each hazard and used to determine what, if any, action needs to be taken to make a property safe. In Portsmouth, any action taken by the council considers:

All residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitor - to satisfy this principle, a dwelling (including paths, yards, gardens, outbuildings and boundary structures) should be designed, constructed and maintained with non-hazardous materials and should be free from both unnecessary and avoidable hazards. 

For information regarding the enforcement of the HHSRS please refer to our Housing Enforcement Policy.

The Property Redress Scheme

From 1 October 2014 new legislation was introduced for all lettings agents and property managers in England to join one of two Government-approved redress schemes. Further information can be found here under the Property Redress Scheme.