Key HMO landlord insurance benefits
- Instant no claims discount.
- Competitive rates, only covering your needs.
- Single or portfolio policies available.
- Policies underwritten at Lloyds of London.
- Speak directly to one of our advisers.
- Option to pay by Direct Debit.
At Highhouse, we are able to provide shared house insurance or HMO insurance as defined by the Housing Act 2004. We can provide you with a HMO landlord insurance policy covering all the usual perils you and your lender will require. Our own let property policy is underwritten at Lloyds of London and we will be pleased to provide you with a free quotation. We are used to dealing with landlords and all property types, we issue our own polices “in house” noting lenders interests if required and we can have you on cover, with the documents over to you, your solicitor or lender, in most cases on the same day.
Once you become a client of Highhouse, making adjustments to your policy is simple and you will find it remarkably easy to reach us by phone where we pride ourselves on the speed we deal with all enquiries. We can insure single risks and add additional properties throughout the year to make an insurance portfolio with payments being calculated on a pro-rata basis. We accept payment by most major credit and debit cards, bank transfer or can arrange convenient monthly installments.
Under our facility, we are able to provide cover for most shared house insurance requirements, property types and methods of construction, why not give us a ring; we’ll be pleased to receive your enquiry.
What does HMO mean
HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation and may also or Multiple Occupancy Homes. In April 2006 new legislation came into force, meaning that HMO licensing became necessary. Failure to obtain the correct HMO license can result in a fine of up to £20,000 and the implementation of the HMO licenses has helped to raise the standards of accommodation. This information is to be treated as a general guide only and the Local Authority should be contacted for more advice on licensing. It also needs to be made clear that the rules and regulations on HMO’s may vary between different Local Authorities.
HMO’s may be defined as follows;
- An entire house which is let to at least three tenants who form at least two household and who share either/or a kitchen, bathroom and toilet. A household is defined as the same family members who reside together, married or not, including relatives and half relatives and both adopted and fostered children.
- A house that has been converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to at least three tenants who form at least two households and who share either/or a kitchen, bathroom and toilet.
- A building which has been 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 on short term tenancies.
With regard to the tenants occupying the building, there must be more than one household and a household is defined under the Housing Act 2004 as a single person, co-habiting couples of either the same or different sex or a family unit. We can still provide insurance for situations where only part of the building is currently let, this sometimes happens with refurbishments and it often takes a little time for tenants to move in. We can also provide cover if your property satisfies the definition in relation to at least one third of the property being a HMO, in some cases part of the building is owner occupied (sold on a lease) and the landlord may even live on the premises.
HMO Landlord Insurance
HMO Insurance is a specialist insurance policy designed to meet the requirements for that type of let property.
As HMO properties pose a higher insurance risk (because of the multiple tenants) the HMO landlord has different liabilities and obligations to a standard let property owner. HMO properties need extra protection with regards to fire safety due to an increased fire risk. Consequently certain fire precautions need to be adhered to, such as smoke detectors in every bedroom as well as in communal areas, a heat detector in the kitchen, annual gas safety checks and electric checks every five years. There must also be access to adequate cooking and washing facilities for the number of tenants in the property, as well as enough rubbish bins for the amount of tenants.
How to obtain a HMO Licence
To make an application for an HMO license it is necessary to contact the relevant local authority who will be able to provide you with the application form and will also be able to inform you of the rules in your area and answer any queries. The local authority will be able to give you information relating to the costs involved in the application process, which generally vary depending on type of HMO and the number of tenants in the property. The length of time that the application takes will, of course, depend on various factors, but, providing that the landlord has submitted a valid application, the HMO may continue to operate until a decision has been made by the local authority (including any time taken for appeals). A property inspection may need to be done before a license is granted. The license itself is usually held by the landlord but, if the landlord nominates another person such as a property manager or agent it may then be held by that person. One license is needed per property and it is non- transferable to another property, and the period that it covers is usually five years.
Obtaining HMO Insurance
It’s important when seeking HMO Landlord insurance that you inform the insurers that the property is multi tenured. If you simply request a buy to let quotation for a rented property without disclosing the fact that more than one tenant will be in situ, you may find your cover is compromised. By presenting the insurer with the full facts you will ensure that your HMO property is correctly insured including the necessary liability insurance.
Before operating an HMO, you will need to speak to your local authority who will provide you with the necessary license and alert you to any special requirements with regard to safety at the property.
What sets a HMO apart from other properties used say as holiday home accommodation is that the premises must be the occupant’s main place of residence or used by students during term time. For other uses allowable, you will need to refer to your HMO licence and disclose such usage to us at the time you request a quote.
We believe here at Highhouse you should only pay for the level of cover needed, our bespoke HMO insurance policies are designed to create an insurance policy using the highest level of cover at the most competitive rates.