Shared kitchen facilities

The regulations specify the following:

Where all or some of the units of accommodation within the HMO do not contain any facilities for the cooking of food;

(a) There must be a kitchen, suitably located in relation to the living accommodation, and of such layout and size and equipped with such facilities so as to adequately enable those sharing the facilities to store, prepare and cook food;

(b) The kitchen must be equipped with the following equipment, which must be fit for the purpose and supplied in a sufficient quantity for the number of those sharing the facilities:

(i) sink(s) with draining board(s);

(ii) an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water to each sink supplied;

(iii) installations or equipment for the cooking of food;

(iv) electrical sockets;

(v) worktops for the preparation of food;

(vi) cupboards for the storage of food or kitchen and cooking utensils; refrigerators with an adequate freezer compartment (or, where the freezer compartment is not adequate, adequate separate freezers);

(vii) appropriate refuse disposal and recycling facilities; and

(viii) appropriate extractor fans, fire blankets and fire doors

The following table shows the facilities that should be provided within a shared kitchen.

Where kitchen facilities are provided at a higher level than the minimum required, they will still be required to comply with the council’s HMO standards and any relevant regulations. This includes, for example, providing sufficient worktop space for the number of occupants sharing the facilities.

Facilities that should be provided in a shared kitchen


Minimum standard accepted

Up to and including 5 people

> 5 people

< 10 people

Sinks and draining boards

A fixed impervious sink and drainer

Sinks – can be butler or Belfast type but should be combined with a specifically designed drainer

Drainers – where drainers are not integral to the sink, these should be fixed and specially designed for the purpose (freestanding type will not be acceptable) or be an integral part of the fixed work surface and drain properly into the sink provided

Splashbacks – all sinks should be provided with an adequate impervious splashback (minimum height being not less than 300mm) and should be properly sealed between the sink and splashback using a suitable waterproof sealant

1 for up to 5 occupiers

Minimum overall sizes:

Sinks – 620 x 500 x 160mm

Bowl – 340 x 400 x 150mm

1 per 4 occupiers or part thereof

(A dishwasher may be considered as an alternative to an additional sink for up to a maximum of 9 people only and a maximum of 1 dishwasher)

Minimum size will depend upon recommended place settings

Hot and cold water to the sink

A constant supply of hot water to the sink from a gas or electric boiler/water heater

A wholesome supply of mains cold water to the sink (drinking water)




The main cooking appliance should have either an electric or gas hob with 4 rings and an oven with a grill

1 appliance for up to 5 occupiers

1 per 4 occupiers or part thereof (a combination type microwave oven may be considered as an alternative to a second cooker for up to a maximum of 9 people only and a maximum of 1 combi oven)

Electric sockets

A 30-amp supply for each electric cooker

Plug sockets should be set at a safe working height above the food preparation surface (between 200mm – 300mm)

6 plug sockets (3 doubles) above food preparation surface

Additional dedicated sockets are required for each cooker, fridge, washing machine or dishwasher

An additional double plug socket above food preparation surface for each two persons over 5 sharing

Additional plug sockets are required for all additional cookers, fridges, washing machines or dishwashers


All food preparation surfaces (worktops) should be secure, fixed and of an impervious material

All edges are to be sealed

Splashbacks – all work surfaces should be provided with adequate impervious splashbacks (minimum height being not less than 300mm) and should be properly sealed between the worktop and splashback using a proprietary sealant

Min. size per user: 500mm (L) x 600mm (D) (smaller lengths of less than 500mm cannot be counted towards the overall requirement)

Standard height for work tops: finished height should be between 900mm – 910mm, dependent upon work surface thickness used (30mm – 40mm)

Additional 500mm length required for each additional user


A fixed floor-based cupboard of 500mm (W) x 600mm (D) x 870mm (H) or fixed wall-mounted cupboard of 1000mm (W) x 300mm (D) x 720mm (H) per user

The space below any sink unit is not acceptable to comply with this standard

A single food storage cupboard (wall or floor mounted) per user

Capacity to be increased proportionately for each additional occupant

Fridges and freezers

A large standard-sized combined fridge/freezer

A refrigerator with a min. capacity of 0.075 cubic metres (75 litres) and a freezer with a min. capacity of 0.11 cubic metres (110 litres)

Fridge/freezer capacity to be increased proportionately for each additional occupant

Refuse disposal

The refuse facilities should not cause problems of hygiene or attract pests and should not obstruct the means of escape in case of a fire

Receptacles should be suitable for separating recyclable waste from residual waste while awaiting collection both within the unit of accommodation and outside

Suitable and sufficient numbers of receptacles should be provided for household waste and recycling

Suitable and sufficient additional receptacles according to the number of occupants

Extractor fans

An electrical extractor fan

Fan to be in accordance with approved document F under the Building Regulations 2010

Mechanical ventilation to the outside air at a minimum extraction rate of 60 litres per second or 30 litres per second if the fan is sited adjacent to the hob.

Note – this is in addition to any windows


Fire blankets

A ‘light duty’ fire blanket should be provided in all kitchens

Fire blankets should comply with BS EN 1869:2019 or equivalent. Fire blankets should be mounted on the wall approx. 1.5m high and closer to the room exit than the cooking facility


Kitchen floors, walls and ceilings

Floors – should have a suitable floor covering that is slip resistant, impervious and easily cleansable

Walls – cookers, sinks and food preparation areas shall be provided with impervious splashbacks

Ceilings – to be in good repair



Dining facilities

Communal – there should be space to eat meals either within the kitchen or in a separate dining or living room

Individual – if there are no appropriate communal dining facilities available, bedroom sizes are required to be larger to accommodate occupiers eating within their rooms

See ‘Room sizes’

See ‘Room sizes’

Only in certain circumstances will it be acceptable for any of the facilities listed above to be located outside the kitchen. By agreement with the case officer, it may be acceptable to locate them in an adjacent utility room or a cupboard directly off the kitchen.