Landlord HMO Insurance | Houses of Multiple Occupancy

Landlord HMO Insurance Comparison

Cover student accommodation, blocks of flats, bedsits and more with Landlord HMO insurance

Landlord HMO Insurance

Created 19 Nov 2021 - Eamonn Turley

The private rental sector has seen historic growth over recent years and approximately  20% of all households in the UK are rental properties. To make rent affordable for more, it is now common for a rental property to have multiple tenants. This was originally the reserve of students that would happily share accommodation with fellow students to keep prices affordable. In recent years, it has become more and more popular with young professionals as they try to get a foot on the property ladder. 

HMO Landlord Insurance Comparison

Apart from students and young professionals, HMO  (which stands for House in Multiple Occupation)  also provides affordable accommodation for migrant and low paid workers. To improve safety and reduce risks, compulsory licensing of HMO properties came into force in 2006. The initial target was properties with 3 or more stories with 5 or more people from 3 or more households. This has recently been extended to cover any property that has 5 or more occupants from 3 or more households. 

Do I need Landlord HMO insurance

HMO landlord insurance is not required by law. If the property is a buy to let, the mortgage provider may stipulate that you have at the very leas builds insurance, but if you own the property outright you are not required to take out insurance.

Whilst this type of cover may not be mandatory, having a good policy could save you a significant amount in the event of a dispute that requires legal action to resolve.  Without adequate cover  the landlord would have to burden all the associated costs.

What does HMO property insurance include?

The risk associated with Landlord HMO insurance is greater than with standard landlord insurance, which will be reflected in the premium and cover offered. Similar to any type of insurance, you can pick and choose elements to create a policy that meets exactly with your requirements. Before listed the main elements of a HMO property insurance, it is important to check the policy wording for the exact inclusion and exclusions.  The main  features of a comprehensive HMO policy include: 

HMO building insurance

Buildings cover will provide cover for a number of risks. Examples include fire and storm damage, damage by escaping water or fuel. Buildings insurance does not include damage to the building by malicious damage by the tenants, but the cover can be extended for an additional premium to include accidental and malicious damage.   

Landlords HMO contents insurance

If the property has been furnished, then you may wish to include contents, including contents in communal areas  within policy

Landlords HMO liability insurance

Additional cover options could include:

  • Emergency Cover : Landlord Home Emergency Cover ensures you’ll have 24/7 access to helplines where you get assistance at any time of the day or night from a host of contractors. Cover with Oops start at  £89 per year.
  • Loss of Rent Insurance with Legal Expenses : If the property is not properly maintained, the insurer can refuse to pay out. Example, if you do not have a valid gas safety certificate for a faulty gas heating system.  Water damage from poorly maintained guttering would be another example
  • Pets : Policies will exclude damage cause by pets, some landlords will ask a for pet deposit to cover any such future damage. Damage by vermin again would normally be excluded as this is a sign of a poorly maintained property,

Is the HMO property covered when it is unoccupied?

This will depend on the insurance provider, in general a property that is left empty for 30 days or longer will not be covered under standard property insurance. In such cases, the owner will need to contact the insurance provider, but may need to take out unoccupied house insurance. Some brokers will allow the property to be vacant during student holidays if it is occupied by students and they    

Examples of HMO properties

* A house that has been converted into bedsits that is let to 3 or more unrelated occupants that share bathroom, kitchen or toilet facilities. 

* An entire house or flat that is let to 3 or more unrelated tenants.

If you are unsure, it is advisable to check with your local authority for further guidance on whether your property is classed as a multiple occupancy property

What is NOT covered by Landlord HMO Insurance

All insurance policies come with exclusions, lost keys in a car insurance policy. Exclusion will vary, so it is important to read and become familiar with any exclusions that apply to the policy under consideration.

Typical Exclusions Include:

  • Wear and Tear : As things age they are prone to break or become damaged and will not be covered by any insurance policy. 
  • Poor maintenance : If the property is not properly maintained, the insurer can refuse to pay out. Example, if you do not have a valid gas safety certificate for a faulty gas heating system.  Water damage from poorly maintained guttering would be another example
  • Pets : Policies will exclude damage cause by pets, some landlords will ask a for pet deposit to cover any such future damage. Damage by vermin again would normally be excluded as this is a sign of a poorly maintained property,

Landlord HMO Insurance FAQ's

Is rent guarantee insurance included?

Landlord rent guarantee insurance is not included in a standard HMO policy, but can be added in or bought as a separate standalone policy click here for a quote. 

Can I claim if my tenants cause malicious damage to the property?

Malicious damage by tenants does not form part of a standard HMO policy, but can be included at an additional premium 

Can I cover DSS and Students tenants in an HMO insurance policy?

Yes,  the HMO landlord products are  aimed at DSS, Students and other forms of multi occupancy

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