Letting a property to multiple tenants living in one property can differ from typical buy-to-lets. Housing multiple occupants may result in added risks, which means standard home insurance might not provide sufficient cover. That’s why suitable insurance for HMOs, such as our Landlord Insurance, could help.
What is a HMO property?
A house of multiple occupancy (HMO) is a property rented by at least three or more tenants who aren’t from the same household. Residents usually have their own bedrooms but share facilities, such as bathrooms, living spaces, and kitchen areas.
Large HMOs include five or more occupants from at least two different households. Student buy-to-lets are an example of a HMO, typically involving five or more people under one roof.
HMOs are different to standard lettings. Landlords with large HMOs need to apply for a licence from their local authority via the GOV.UK website.
What is HMO insurance?
Many properties can be converted into a HMO, but you should ensure you’ve suitably assessed risks and requirements first. Since they operate differently from standard rentals, HMOs come with unique risks, which means landlords may need specific insurance.
HMO cover is a type of landlord insurance that helps protect multiple occupancy buy-to-lets. Running a HMO can involve certain obligations, such as providing space for tenants, installing sufficient facilities (particularly the number of washrooms), and ensuring safety measures are in place, such as smoke detectors, fire doors, and waste disposal facilities.
With added responsibility can come added risk. HMO landlords may face an increased risk of buildings and contents damage, loss of rent, theft, and liability claims.
What is covered by HMO insurance?
Please note that these are for guidance only and are not a substitute for the policy wording. For full terms and conditions please see the policy documentation.
HMO insurance helps protect your property investment from several risks. You can get HMO cover by taking out a Landlord Insurance policy with us, which includes the following protection as standard:
Buildings insurance can cover the cost of repair to rebuild or repair your property after damage caused by an insured event. It includes protection against damage caused by fire, storms, theft, floods, and environmental damage. It also covers accidental or malicious damage caused by tenants as standard, which is often an add-on with other insurers.
Like buildings insurance, contents cover can protect against damage caused by an insured event to possessions, fixtures, and furniture within your buy-to-let. In many cases, this includes cover for contents in hallways, reception rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and other communal areas.
Loss of rent
Loss of rent cover can help when your tenants have had to move out due to the property becoming uninhabitable following an insured event and therefore aren’t paying rent. It can also help with the cost of alternative accommodation for your tenants.
This is different to rent guarantee insurance, which is a separate policy that can help when tenants default on rent payments.
Having multiple tenants is a great way to generate more income, but it may also increase the likelihood of liability claims.
Property owners’ liability cover for your legal liability as the property owner for any amounts you become legally liable to pay. This can include bodily injury or damage to property caused by an accident happening at the premises during the period of insurance.
Legal liability as occupier or landlord for your legal liability as a result of your actions if you are or had been the property occupier for any amounts you become legally liable to pay. This can include bodily injury or damage to property caused by an accident happening in the property at the premises during the period of insurance.
Replacement locks insurance protects you if keys are lost or stolen, which is a significant risk for HMO properties. This insurance covers the cost associated with replacing locks and keys to keep your buy-to-let secure and prevent unauthorised access.
Policy limits and exclusions may apply, please see our Landlord Insurance policy wording for full terms and conditions.
How do I arrange HMO insurance?
HMO insurance isn’t mandatory, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Basic home insurance might not provide the cover you need if anything goes wrong with your HMO property. To help protect your property investment from damage, theft, and other risks associated with rental homes, consider investing in a policy that provides HMO cover, such as our Landlord Insurance. It can help to alleviate financial complications that can occur when managing multiple tenants.
At Just Landlords, we’re here to help make running a HMO property as smooth as possible. Our specialist team can guide you through the 40 covers provided as standard with our Landlord Insurance to help protect your investment, offering comprehensive cover.