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Waste Management in HMOs

Posted on May 9th, 2024

Waste and HMOs: A Guide for Landlords and Managing Agents – by Plymouth City Council

HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) can present unique challenges when it comes to waste management. Landlords and managing agents play a crucial role in ensuring that waste produced by tenants does not pose public health hazards or contribute to litter and fly-tipping issues. With the introduction of new regulations, it’s more important than ever for landlords to be proactive in managing waste within their properties.


Understanding Your Responsibilities

Since October 2018 changes in HMO licensing require landlords to provide adequate facilities for storing and disposing of household waste, recycling, and garden waste. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to penalties and enforcement action. Here are some essential steps landlords can take to effectively manage waste in HMOs:

  1. Encourage Waste Separation

Facilitate the separation of recyclable and non-recyclable waste within the property by providing separate bins for each type of waste. This simple step empowers tenants to manage their waste more efficiently and encourages environmentally responsible behaviour.

  1. Designate Bin Storage Areas

Allocate a specific area within the property boundary for storing wheelie bins between collections. Implementing a small wooden structure can protect bins from damage, unauthorised use, or theft. By keeping bins contained, landlords can prevent obstructions in public areas and maintain a tidy environment.

  1. Ensure Adequate Waste Receptacles

Prior to new tenant arrivals, landlords should verify that there are enough council-issued waste receptacles for the number of occupants. These receptacles should be clearly marked with the property number to avoid confusion.

  1. Display Waste Collection Information

Prominently display information about the local council’s waste collection rules, such as Plymouth City Council’s domestic waste collection rules (Section 46 notice). Providing tenants with clear guidelines helps to prevent non-compliance and fosters cooperation in waste management efforts. Section 46 | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK

  1. Provide Information Leaflets

Upon each new tenant’s arrival, furnish them with informative leaflets detailing how domestic waste is managed in the area. This resource equips tenants with essential knowledge and reinforces their role in maintaining a clean and orderly environment.


Commercial Waste Disposal

Commercial waste encompasses any waste generated from business or commercial activity. When it comes to rental properties this includes all waste left behind by tenants upon vacating the property, such as fixtures, fittings, furniture and household waste. It also includes any waste produced from the refurbishing of properties, replacement items and the packaging they have been delivered in. Anyone transporting commercial waste must be licensed to do so. Register or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


In conclusion, effective waste management in HMOs requires proactive measures from landlords and managing agents. By implementing the strategies outlined above, landlords can uphold their responsibilities, maintain compliance with regulations, and contribute to a cleaner and safer living environment for tenants and the community at large.

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