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Locking on to Safety and Security

Investing in property destined for the rental market carries with it many administrative headaches…as well as many rewards. But safety and security should always be paramount in preparing a house or apartment to let.

If your property will be occupied by three or more tenants, who aren't part of the same family, then it will be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and subject to legislation relating to the safety and security of its inhabitants.

In any rental property, a landlord has a responsibility to ensure clear and suitable emergency exits are fitted and they are appropriate to the size and number of occupants within a building. However, this is particularly important in HMOs: the landlord must ensure that the property has an escape route - such as an external fire escape, or internal stairs or walkways - that can resist fire, smoke and fumes long enough for the occupants to leave the building (usually at least 30 minutes). Ceilings, walls, floors and partitions along the escape route must also be fire resistant and it is also essential in an HMO property to fit fire doors with self closers to all bedrooms and doors leading to the escape route.

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