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HMO landlords and licensing – don’t get fined!

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HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) landlords should be aware that as from 4th May 2018 new legislation comes in to force that means most HMO’s will be subject to mandatory licensing.

As we reported in October 2016, changes were afoot for landlords including:

  • providing a minimum living space for renters (6.52 meters squared for one person, 10.23 square metres for two people)

  • extending the mandatory licensing rules for HMO’s to include flats above shops and / or other commercial premises;

  • providing for the proper disposal of rubbish and decent storage; etc.

The new legislation will change the definition of what an HMO is with the removal of the reference to storeys from the prescribed description of large HMO’s. This means that most HMO’s, occupied by five or more people from two or more separate households, will be subject to mandatory licensing.

DCLG estimates that this means 174,000 additional properties will be covered by mandatory licensing. Landlords who fail to licence an HMO will face unlimited fines.

HMO landlord insurance 

One of the other major considerations as a result to this change of definition as to what is an HMO, is landlord insurance.

Now that more properties are going to be classed as HMO’s with the removal of the number of storeys clause, landlords will need to need to comply with the licencing regulations and may need to change their landlords insurance policy to a specific HMO policy in order to be fully compliant before the upcoming deadline. 

Just as a standard home insurance policy is not suitable for landlords, a standalone landlord insurance is not suitable for HMO properties. HMO insurance is not a standard off the shelf product.

With increased potential risks and liabilities you want to make sure you have the correct insurance in place, so in the event of a claim it will pay out. After all, insurance is only good if it gives you the cover you need.

Please don’t fall foul of the new legislation and face a fine.

And please check that you have the most appropriate insurance for your HMO property in place. Come and talk to us at UKInsuranceNET and one of our specialist advisers will be able discuss your own personal position and make recommendations about the most suitable HMO insurance cover.