Heating requirements

The regulations specify that each unit of living accommodation in an HMO must be equipped with adequate means of space heating (also see Appendix A).

To comply with the regulations:

  • adequate fixed space heating should be provided to every room including bathrooms, kitchens, common landings and staircases. The heating should be capable of reaching and maintaining the following temperatures when the external temperature is -1°C, within one hour of being turned on
    • Living room/bedroom 21°C
    • Bathroom 22°C
    • Elsewhere 18°C
  • night storage heaters are only acceptable where they have a ‘convector boost’ or have a dual heat facility such as an integrated convector heater which can be switched on at times when all of the stored heat has been expelled. Any night storage heaters must be supplied by an economy tariff
    All Storage heaters shall have automatic charge control and a thermostatically controlled damper outlet
    Heating in bedsit type HMOs should be from storage heaters which are also fan assisted, gas fires or gas-fired central heating. Wall-mounted electric panel heaters are only acceptable where the room is up to 11 square meters in area, has only one external wall, has a ceiling height of no more than 2.4m and has another heated space above and below it. Such panel heaters shall have timers and electronic thermostats and be supplied via a dedicated fuse spur
  • where individual heaters are provided in bedsits, suitable heating must also be provided to all communal rooms, common areas and bathrooms capable of reaching and maintaining 18°C (common areas) and 22°C (bathrooms) when the external temperature is -1°C
    The cost of heating the communal areas of shared houses, bedsits and bedsit-type HMOs shall be met out of the general rental or energy charges and not from a prepayment meter
  • whichever form of heating is installed it should be fully controllable by the occupants at all times and should be thermostatically controlled and programmable
  • paraffin, LPG or free standing, plug in electric heaters are not acceptable
  • adequate structural thermal insulation should be provided to the building. This will include up to 270mm of loft insulation and where appropriate cavity walls should be insulated

For more details on acceptable heating and insulation - See Appendix A