Please note we are currently not offering cover for HMO Property
If you require a landlord building insurance quotation for a House in Multiple occupation, ( HMO Insurance)we will be able to assist you but you will need to frequent yourself with the new rules and regulations relating to this sector of the market. These notes are for guidance only. Under the changes in the Housing Act 2004, ( England & Wales)( The Legislation came in to force on 6th April 2006) if you let a property which is one of the following types it will be considered a House in Multiple occupation and you will be required to obtain a license. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £20,000. The laws are fairly complex and the information on this page must only be used as a general guide. It is essential that you contact your Local Authority ( if you are in any doubt as to whether you own or operate a House in Multiple occupation, you should contact them anyway) regarding licensing, they will be able to advise you of the costs etc. It must also be remembered that Local Authorities can react to local issues and you may find that rules for HMOs change from area to area. The main points are as follows:-
An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. For the purpose of licensing, a household is defined as the same family who live together whether married or not including relatives and or half relatives, fostered and adopted children. A house which has been converted entirely into bed sits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.( Self contained can be defined as a portion of accommodation which enjoys it’s own private use kitchen(or other designated cooking area), bathroom and toilet. If a tenant needs to leave this portion of accommodation to access such facilities then it will not be considered as self contained.
A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by3 or more tenants who form two or more households. A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet with the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies. In order to be classed as an HMO the property must be used as the tenants only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence as will properties which are used as domestic refuges etc.
Local Authority Guidance – the rules are fairly complex and another factor that needs to be taken in to consideration is the number of stories in the Building and how many are let, your local authority will be able to provide you with help and guidance and as stated above if you are in any doubt, is safest to contact them anyway. If your property is a Property Management standards are being applied to the building.The proposed House in Multiple occupation is reasonably suitable or can be made suitable for occupation taking in to consideration also the proposed number of tenants. Your local authority will take in to consideration, the number of bathrooms./kitchens.
How to I apply for a license? – again, you need to contact your local authority, they will have an application form and will be able to inform you of the rules and regulations relating to your particular area. They will also be able to discuss the costs with you. As a Landlord you of course have the right to know how the fee for a particular building has been arrived at guidance has been obtained on this matter by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, basically your Local Authority will be able to give you transparency on any fees. It most cases you should apply to the Housing or Environmental Health Department of your local Authority. How long will the Application Process Take? – the length of the application process will depend on a number of factors such as the circumstances of each property or the total number of applications that the local housing authority are dealing with at the time. Provided that a landlord has submitted a valid application, the HMO can continue to operate legally until the local housing authority reaches it’s decision and any appeals against that decision are exhausted. However, the property may need to be inspected before a license will be granted to you.
Is the License for the Owner of the manager of the property? – the landlord may hold the license or nominate someone else such as a manager or agent to be the license holder. If you wish to appoint someone else, you will of course have to obtain their permission and they will have to be considered a fit and proper person to hold such a license. A license may not relate to more than one property and is not transferable to a different property, or to a different person.
How long is a HMO license valid for? – a HMO license is usually valid for 5 years and your local authority will be able to confirm the exact period.