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Is your HMO correctly insured?

HMOs (which stands for House in Multiple Occupation) are popular. More people than ever may be inclined to share such accommodation as rents and house prices continue to escalate, and the arrangement might particularly suit students and working professionals.

What defines a HMO?

house in multiple occupation (HMO) can be either a property where:

  • at least three tenants live there, forming more than one household;
  • tenants share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. In a HMO, there are separate households.

If you are unsure as to whether your property is a HMO and whether you need a HMO licence, contact your local authority/council for clarification.

Why do you need specialist HMO insurance cover?

HMO Landlord insurance falls into a special category. It is certainly not the same as the standard building and contents insurance used by an owner-occupier to protect his or her home. But neither is it the standard form of Landlord insurance suitable for wholly self-contained rental accommodation.

It is a property in multiple occupation, with facilities that are shared by several households.

This means lots of footfall where there is:

  • potentially, a higher risk of damage to the property and/or contents whether caused maliciously or otherwise;
  • a greater chance of someone claiming against you for loss, damage or injury caused by being on your premises.

Because HMOs may represent increased risks when it comes to providing the necessary cover for Landlords, some Insurers:

  • may decline your application for HMO insurance altogether;
  • who do provide HMO Landlord insurance may be likely to charge unusually high premiums (compared to those for standard buy to let property, for example).

With HMO property insurance we can consider all tenant types, from students to Asylum Seekers. Do note, however, that some insurance providers may have restrictions as to whom you can let to.

If your property is deemed a HMO, typically you will need to register the address as a HMO and get a HMO licence. Failure to do so could jeopardise your HMO insurance cover.

By using our expertise and experience in this niche area of the market for property insurance, we are familiar with the broader risks of property in multiple occupation and the Landlord’s need to protect against those risks.

By Sam Geddes Cert CIISenior Commercial Account Handler




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