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HMO or Houses in multiple occupation are homes which are shared between tenants who are not related, have separate bedrooms and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. As a landlord of an HMO property, there are very specific fire safety responsibilities you must adhere to, as well as responsibilities concerning the security of the property.
Security at home is a basic right for any tenant. The law states that any property that cannot be secured against unauthorised entry would be considered in breach of legislation which could lead to action being taken against the landlord. It is therefore incredibly important that you get things right when it comes to HMO security. Our Liverpool locksmiths can give you the best advice to make sure the property is secure, but also in line with current HMO legislation.
How do I stop previous tenants having access to my property when they leave?
One of the greatest issues in an HMO or tenanted properties is the potential for unauthorised duplication of keys. The solution is a registered key system / or suite of locks with restricted security keys.
These are suitable for all types of lock and the keys cannot be duplicated without a specific code directly from the supplier. Restricted key systems can be suited, also known as keyed alike locks. This means they can be used to open groups of doors such as the front door and any other common areas that require restricted access. This offers a great deal of convenience to the tenant who will now only need minimal keys. It means that the tenant would only need 1 key to open all the doors they need to.
High security locks are a must for HMO properties because individual tenants do not necessarily have full control over all the entryways to the property. For the ultimate protection choose a high security lock combined with a high security or restricted key system. Different types of doors call for different types of locks, so be sure to take professional advice from an experienced locksmith.
If a tenant leaves without handing in keys it is always best practice to change the locks. This is also why on a HMO keyless access to the communal door or main front door is often good practice. It means if the tenant leaves you can either delete an electronic fob from a system so it cannot be used or change a code / access.
As a landlord are there certain fixtures or fittings I should have on doors and windows?
Depending on the type of property there are certain locks / fixtures that must be fitted to fall in with fire regulations and legislation.
In HMO properties for example communal entrance doors usually have to be fitted with automatic deadlocking rim night latches or mortice sash locks that comply with British Standard 8621. These locks have turn knobs on the inside rather than a key lock. To fall in line with current fire regulations all bedroom doors and the communal entrance door must be able to be opened from the inside without the use of a key.
Windows can be a weak point in a property, which is why additional window locks are vital in a HMO or tenanted property. The best option is to have a lock fitted onto the window that will snap shut on closing, so that tenants do not have to consciously remember to lock them.
Some windows have secondary locking points or restrictors built in so they can be left slightly open and locked into place without allowing enough room for access. This can also provide a safety feature for higher floor windows which must be fitted with a restrictor for health and safety purposes.