Changes to HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) Regulations
Gavin Dickson, Team Leader of the BHIB Professions Team, explains more about the recent changes…
“With effect from this month (October 2018) there have been some regulatory updates which relate to mandatory licensing for landlords who are letting Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO).
Previously a large HMO was defined (for licensing purposes) as being a property occupied by five or more individuals, forming two or more separate households and comprising three or more storeys.
The new definition, with effect from 1st October 2018, removes the reference to the number of storeys and therefore widens the definition of an HMO. This means that some landlords may now require a licence where they previously did not.
If you are unsure as to whether you and your property would be affected by this change then you should clarify this as a priority, as renting out an unlicensed HMO could potentially lead to an unlimited fine. There are also a number of conditions that must be adhered to as the landlord of an HMO property.
As a useful starting point, the UK Government website will provide you with guidance on this subject: https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence
If your property is classed as an HMO, then it is vital that you make your Insurance Broker / Insurer aware of this if you have not already done so, as this could have an impact on your property insurance.
While not all insurers will necessarily take a negative view or look to apply additional terms, this would be considered to be a material fact so will therefore need to be noted and agreed by your insurers. Failure to do so could jeopardise your insurance cover in the event of a claim.”
If you have any queries over insurance for a HMO property then as always you can get in touch with BHIB by e-mailing Gavin, or by completing the contact form below: