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More and more people are deciding to buy an HMO, as it is an investment that offers the chance to earn a lot from lease. However, if you want to offer such a house for rent, you have to meet certain conditions – in some cases even get the appropriate license. Find out what the rules are for renting an HMO building and how to prepare for such an investment.

HMO properties in England – what are they?

If you are interested in buying a rental property, consider an HMO, that is, House In Multiple Occupation. It is a house occupied by several people. According to British regulations, that the residential building meets the HMO conditions, there must be at least 3 unrelated people living in it who share a kitchen and bathroom. In the UK, subletting parts of your home to strangers is a very popular way to shore up your budget. It’s not hard to imagine, for example, that an elderly person who owns a large house might have trouble maintaining it. The funds needed for this purpose can be obtained precisely by creating an HMO, i. e. renting out a few rooms to tenants who will pay regular rent. Since it is quite a good source of extra income, more and more people are opting to buy an HMO for strictly income purposes. However, you should be aware that such a property must meet certain conditions in order to act as a House In Multiple Occupation.

What kind of house can become an HMO? Applicable regulations in the UK

New regulations on HMOs apply from 2018. First of all, you must have a special license to operate a shared house, where at least 5 unrelated people live. Regardless of the number of occupants, the HMO must also meet appropriate standards, including:
  • be in good technical condition,
  • have a fire protection system installed (fire alarm and doors in each room, marked escape route and exits, door closers, etc.),
  • have valid electrical and gas installation certificates, as well as a minimum E level energy certificate,
  • offer rooms adapted to the number of occupants, e. g. a single room should be at least 6. 5 square metres,
  • provide tenants with access to an adequate number of bathrooms, kitchen facilities and dining areas.
The detailed list of requirements for a House In Multiple Occupation is determined by each individual local authority (Council), so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with it before you plan to buy an HMO in your area.

How to get an HMO license?

In order to rent a house to at least 5 unrelated people, you must obtain an HMO license. To do this, you need to submit an application to your local municipality. The decision to grant a license will depend primarily on the results of the building inspection. This is because officials need to see if it meets all the requirements set forth in state and local law. An HMO license is issued for 5 years – after that time you must apply for renewal and go through the home inspection and document verification process again. You also need to be aware that inspectors can also check the building while the licence is still in force to confirm that the owner is maintaining all standards and meeting the requirements imposed by the regulations. Detection of deficiencies will result in a caution or, in the case of more serious irregularities, even a financial penalty.

Renting without a license – when is it acceptable?

Renting an unlicensed HMO is only allowed if it is shared with a maximum of 4 tenants. If their number is 5 or more, the license is mandatory. There are severe penalties for failing to do so, including a fine of up to £30,000, a ban on letting the property for a specified period of time and, in extreme cases, even imprisonment. what is HMO

Do you want to invest? Learn about the responsibilities of a landlord!

If you decide to buy an HMO , you become a landlord, which means you own the property and make it available to tenants. By law you will have to fulfil a number of responsibilities towards your tenants, including providing them with a Welcome pack. Among the most important of these are:
  • a letter containing personal and contact details of the owner or manager of the building,
  • How to rent brochure,
  • proof of possession of all required certificates,
  • list of home furnishings,
  • information about the deposit (how much it is and how it will be kept).
It is also the landlord’s responsibility to check that tenants have the right to rent, that is , the right to lease property in the UK.

Our advisors can help you buy an HMO!

If you are interested in buying a rental property, contact us and we will help you buy a house that meets HMO requirements. Your Polish advisor will also explain to you all the rules of renting such a building in accordance with the current regulations. What’s more, it will also search for the most advantageous HMO loan for you to finance your entire investment. We are a licensed broker operating within one of the largest financial advisory groups in the UK and our specialty is serving Polish people in the UK. Write to us or call us and you will receive comprehensive and professional help in Polish language in buying a property.


Małgorzata Kniaź - Supreme Financial Solutions LTD

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