The RLA is pleased with recent changes to the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations which clarify the responsibilities of landlords. We can now say with confidence that landlords of HMOs with shared facilities will not be required to provide network notification.
The RLA earlier reported: Heat Network Regulations may hit landlords.
The concern was that these regulations would require HMO landlords to submit a notification to the National Measurement and Regulation Office (NMRO) regarding heat supply to tenants.
The regulations could apply to some HMOs as defined under Housing Act where there is self-containment i.e., contain studios or self-contained flats (Section 257 HA 2004 HMO could be affected if shared heating etc.).
To be clear: where ‘HMO’ is first mentioned it does not apply to HMOs where there is sharing of kitchen, bathroom and/or living rooms for all units e.g. bed sits, but may apply if some units are totally self-contained – studios/self-contained flats.
Thanks to new guidance provided by NMRO, HMOs with shared facilities are not subject to regulations. For in-depth information please refer to the Government page, click here.
The guidance document states:
“Spaces that do not meet all of these criteria [see below] such as houses of multiple occupancy or most university halls of residence where some services, such as cooking, are shared are therefore not considered within the scope of the regulations.”
The document goes on to state:
“Where there is no partitioned space, such as wholly open plan areas serving multiple tenants, then this is not considered part of a network for the purposes of the regulations.”
This clearly, and pleasingly to the RLA, obviously exempts HMO landlords as was previously a concern.
The ‘criteria’ mentioned above is where a domestic property fulfils all of the following:
- It has a living and sleeping space
- It has sanitary facilities
- It has cooking and food preparation facilities
This suggests to the RLA that most properties will be exempt from requiring to provide notification to the NMRO.
However, if a landlord was to pay for heating and acted as heat ‘supplier’ may be responsible for providing notification. This would mean owners of large apartment buildings that provide heating/hot water/cooling systems should be aware the regulations will apply directly to them, for example.
Be sure to visit the NMRO guidance page for more details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/heat-networks