Reporting HMOs

Royal Holloway’s failure to provide enough accommodation for the 15,000 students that it expects to attract has led to the huge growth in Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) seen in both Englefield Green and Egham.

Common complaints we hear about are these HMOs relate to the condition of the property and these complaints usually concern the unkempt appearance of the property – particularly gardens – or issues with rubbish and bins on the property.

In Runnymede, HMOs with 5 or more occupants must be licenced and the terms of this licence include obligations on the owner, or manager, of the property to maintain gardens and to provide an adequate number of bins for refuse.

Specifically, the licence conditions stipulate that: ‘It is a requirement of the HMO management regulations that all gardens are maintained. Front gardens and front driveways/forecourts must be kept tidy.’  The licence conditions also explain that Runnymede Borough Council is unable to take excess waste not contained inside the waste bin and that excess waste should be taken to the recycling centre a Lyne.

A registered HMO occupied by Royal Holloway students

Of course, such issues as untidy gardens and bags of rubbish left on the ground are not only unsightly but can cause a health hazard: overgrown gardens can provide or conceal a trip hazard and bags of rubbish can attract vermin.

If you are concerned about the condition of a licenced HMO then you should report it to the Private Sector Housing department at Runnymede Borough Council using the e-mail address:

and be sure to mention if you think that your concern has a health or safety element.

As you may have read in our recent news article, the Planning Policy Team at Runnymede Borough Council is currently looking to gather evidence of the effects of these HMOs on the local community so reporting all the issues that you become aware of will help to inform this work as well as potentially address the immediate issue.

If you want to check that the property concerned is a licenced HMO, then you can check the RBC register published online.