HMO Mortgages

Investing in HMO property can be a great way to generate additional income and increase your property portfolio. To learn more about HMO property investment, read our complete guide and contact us if you need any help.

HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) property investment is an excellent option for those seeking to generate additional income and increase their property portfolio. With HMO properties, investors can benefit from increased rental returns by renting out multiple rooms or units in the same building with shared facilities. This way of letting usually generates higher yields than renting a property to a single family.

There are, however, rules and regulations that must be adhered to. With the right advice, investing in HMO property can greatly boost your financial future. To get started, read our comprehensive guide and contact us for any help you may need.

What is an HMO Property

HMO property stands for House in Multiple Occupancy and refers to a residential property occupied by more than one household. The property is usually a single house with one legal freehold title, divided into multiple rented rooms, with shared facilities such as a kitchen, living area or bathroom.

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. If there are three tenants with more than one household, this is classed as a HMO. If there are five or more tenants with more than one household, this is a large HMO. Large HMOs must be licenced. This is a compulsory requirement. Other HMOs however may need to be licenced, but this depends on the local authority for where the property is located.

The main benefit of investing in HMO property is that you charge rent for each bedroom rather than the whole house. This generally means a higher potential return for investors.

In addition to the financial benefits, investing in HMO property also brings other advantages. By renting out multiple rooms, there is less full vacancy risk compared to single-family homes.

Benefits Of Speaking To A Buy To Let Mortgage Advisor

We Consider Your Circumstances

We take the time to understand your individual circumstances. Whether this is your first investment property or you are adding to your portfolio, we’ll review your requirements and recommend the most suitable buy to let mortgage.

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We work for you not the lender and will act solely in your best interests. You can therefore be confident that the buy to let mortgage we recommend will be the best available product to suit your circumstances as an investor.

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At Your Mortgage Options we leave no stone unturned in our expensive market research when it comes to buy to let mortgages. We also handle the whole process end to end including filling your application form.

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With so many options available, only looking at deals from one lender means you’re unlikely to end up making the best possible choice. Our buy to let mortgage advisors have access to 1000s of product, including products not available from high street lenders.

Benefits of Investing in HMO Property

Investing in HMO property can be a great way to generate additional income and increase your property portfolio. Here are some key advantages of investing in this type of rental property

Higher Returns –

HMO properties offer higher returns than traditional single-family homes due to the ability to rent out multiple rooms. There are fewer void periods, and the lower entry point usually means strong tenant demand.

Tax Treatment –

The associated business expenses, such as marketing costs, maintenance and repairs, can often be deducted from taxable income when investing in HMO property.

Less Risk of Vacancy –

Since HMO properties are typically rented out to multiple tenants, there is less vacancy risk compared to single-family homes.

Diversified Portfolio –

Investing in HMO property allows investors to diversify their portfolios and help more tenant types. HMOs are a good solution to the shortage of housing.

Buy-to-let Affordability –

The higher rental income that a HMO property generates can be a good way to ensure a property meets the affordability requirements for the loan size you require. 

What Types of Accommodation are Considered to Be an HMO?

HMO property refers to a building rented out to  3 or more tenants with shared facilities. There are various types of accommodation that can be considered an HMO. Here is a list of the most common types:

  • Houses or flats with individually let bedrooms and shared facilities
  • Student accommodation
  • A building converted into flats, but not all are self-contained
  • A building converted into self contained flats which did not meet building regulations and less that 2/3rds are in owner occupation.

Other freehold properties that consist of more than one self contained flat without shared facilities would not be classed as a HMO. These types of properties are referred to as Multi-unit clocks (MUB) or some people refer to them as Multi-unit freehold block (MUFB).

What is Multi-Unit Freehold Block

Multi-Unit Property, also known as ‘MUB’ and ‘MUFB’ is a type of property in which self-contained flats, with their own entrance and without shared facilities, all sit on one legal freehold title. This means, even if there are say 4 flats, the one freehold title on land registry means legally it is just one property.

If you were to sell the flats, it would be one legal transaction for all four. If you were to mortgage them, it would be one mortgage.

Multi-unit properties have the same higher income-generating possibilities as HMO’s. Some property investors will purchase large freehold houses that can be converted into self-contained flats to increase the properties’ rental value. It is only possible to sell the individual flats if a long leasehold is created and registered on Land Registry. A solicitor can help you to do this.

What are the Main Differences Between HMO Property vs Multi-Unit Property?

HMO Property

  • HMOs typically refer to a property with multiple tenants sharing facilities.
  • HMO properties generate higher returns for investors due to the ability to rent out multiple rooms in the same building.
  • Due to the shared facilities, HMO property requires more management than traditional rental properties.
  • HMO property may require the landlord to obtain a licence.

Multi-Unit Property?

  • Multi-Unit Blocks have multiple units but only one tenant per unit.
  • Multi-Unit Blocks have no shared facilities
  • Converting a house into a multi-unit block can be a good investment for both income and capital.
  • Multi-Unit Properties can require less management as there is usually only one tenantcy per unit.
  • Most multi-unit properties do not require a licence

Are there Mortgages for HMO and MUB property?

Many lenders will consider lending on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and also on Multi-Unit Blocks (MUB). When a property needs a HMO licence, rather than the mainstream lenders, it is mainly the specialist lenders that can consider this. Commercial lenders can consider the largest properties

Some lenders normally have a maximum number of letting rooms or units of, say, 4 to 8. Commercial lenders often do not have a limit, so a property with, say, 20 letting rooms or a block of 20 individual flats on one freehold will still be able to be mortgaged by a commercial-type lender.

To look for a mortgage for you on an MUB property, an adviser will just need to understand the number of individual self contained units and if planning permission was correctly obtained for the conversion.

To look for a mortgage on a HMO property, along with the number of letting rooms, your adviser will need to know the following:

  • Are there any locks on the internal doors?
  • Will there be one tenancy agreement that all tenants will sign or will each tenant get an individual tenancy agreement?
  • If the property does not require a mandatory licence (5 or more tenants), does the local authority still require a licence?

It is worth also noting that not all lenders will consider properties with more than one kitchen. 

These factors will determine the lender choice available. Our mortgages adviser at Connect will then be able to guide you to the best lender options for your MUB or HMO. 

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Thinking of getting a mortgage? Our experienced team of skilled mortgage advisers are here to offer the essential guidance you require. Relying on our comprehensive understanding of the mortgage market, we’ll ensure you secure the perfect mortgage to suit your specific situation. 

HMO Property Requirements and Standards

HMO property requirements and standards may vary from one local authority to another depending on the regional legislative framework in place. Investors and landlords need to become informed about the requirements for their area to ensure that their property is compliant.

It is also important to note that HMO properties require more stringent management than traditional rental properties due to the multiple tenants living in the same building. Thus, landlords and investors must take the necessary steps to ensure their property meets all safety standards, legal requirements and tenant regulations.

This includes conducting regular inspections of the property, ensuring fire safety measures are in place and up to date and providing tenants with a written tenancy agreement detailing the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

A HMO licence may also be required, subject to the number of tenants and the local authority. For very large HMOs planning permission may also be required.

HMO tenancy agreements

All tenants of an HMO property must have a tenancy agreement that details both parties’ rights and responsibilities.

With a HMO, it is possible for all tenants to be listed on one single tenancy agreement together. This is often used for student lets or lets to groups of friends. Each tenant is equally responsible for the tenancy, and if the tenancy ends, it usually finishes for everyone at the same time. Some, but not all, HMO mortgage lenders will only lend where all tenants are on one agreement.

The other option for a HMO is for all tenants to be on one separate tenancy agreement. This means tenants do not need to know each other and can move in and leave the property at different times. It is mostly specialist HMO lenders that will consider this type of tenancy. This is because should the lender have to repossess the property, evicting multiple tenants on differently-dated agreements is more complex.

Tax implications should always be taken into account when investing in property. For example, in the UK, profits from rental properties are subject to tax, and landlords must declare any rental income to HMRC.

Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible for certain reliefs such as mortgage interest relief or a Wear and Tear Allowance which could reduce the amount of tax you owe.

Higher-rate taxpayers cannot fully offset the cost of the mortgage payments, as rules introduced in 2017 restricted the offsetting to the basic level of tax. In turn, this has made purchasing a buy-to-let via a limited company more popular, as the changes only affected properties in individual ownership.

Speaking with a Tax Adviser or accountant to discuss the potential tax implications before taking out a HMO buy-to-let mortgage is essential.

It is also important to note that landlords must adhere to certain standards when it comes to managing their HMO properties. This may mean obtaining a HMO licence or in some cases planning permission.

Safety checks should be out regularly and that tenants are provided with adequate living conditions.

Does My Property Need an HMO Licence?

It is mandatory that all HMO properties with 5 or more tenants that form more than one household hold a licence.

All other HMOs may require a licence, depending on the local authority. This is because local authorities can use their powers to insist that smaller HMOs have a licence using ‘additional’ or ‘selective’ licencing powers.

Investors should always check with their local authority on their specific requirements. It’s worth noting that some HMO mortgage lenders will lend on properties needing a licence, and some won’t.

HMO licences are based on the property, but issued to the landlord, and are not transferrable. If you are buying an existing HMO, you will need to apply for the licence yourself.

If a landlord or investor does require an HMO license, they should contact their local authority for more information about how to apply and what is needed for approval. Depending on the area, the application process may take several weeks, and additional safety checks may need to be carried out for a license to be granted.

HMO mortgage lenders will expect you to have at least applied for the licence before your mortgage completes and will ask your solicitor to confirm this.

How Can Synergy financial Help?

The Advisers at Synergy financial can help you find a suitable HMO lender or Multi-Unit Property mortgage.

With years of expertise in the mortgage industry, Synergy financial are the go-to specialists for all types of mortgages. Whether you require a HMO mortgage property or Multi-Unit Block mortgage, we can help you to secure the finance to realise your property ambition! We understand that navigating the complex rules, regulations and requirements when it comes to HMOs can be a challenge, and we are here to help.

We have access to exclusive deals from specialist lenders, which may not be available to you directly, and we can assist with the application process. We also provide in-depth advice on all aspects of HMO property mortgages to ensure landlords and investors can make informed investment decisions.

If you need help finding a suitable HMO lender or Multi-Unit Property mortgage, contact the Synergy financial team and get the right advice for you and your property. We’re here to help make investing in HMO properties as straightforward as possible!

Final Thought

HMO properties can be a great investment opportunity for landlords and investors who are willing to research the necessary requirements thoroughly. By familiarizing themselves with local laws and regulations in addition to any specific rules that may apply, landlords and investors can ensure that their HMO investments are compliant with all relevant legislation.

If you require help finding a lender for a HMO mortgage or Multi-Unit Property Loan, then contact the Synergy financial team. We are here to provide you with the right advice and support throughout the process of applying for a loan, so that you can focus on creating successful HMO investments.

FAQs: HMO Mortgage

Most frequent questions and answers about HMO Mortgage

Yes, you can check if a property has an HMO licence. The best way to do this is by contacting your local council or housing association office and asking them to verify the status of the HMO license for the property. It’s also important to look into any additional regulations that may apply in your area before investing in an HMO property, such as rent cap laws or legal limits on tenant numbers per unit.

Yes, you can buy a HMO property to live in. In order to do so, you must be aware of the specific criteria and requirements of the mortgage lender you are using. It’s also important to understand any local regulations that may apply when renting out an HMO property. Consider all aspects of the investment including repairs, maintenance, insurance policies, and other administrative fees before committing to your purchase.

HMO properties can be a great investment option, especially if you are looking to increase your rental income quickly. HMOs typically have higher occupancy rates than other types of buy-to-let investments and offer more flexibility with tenants, meaning greater returns both in the short and long term. However, it is important to consider all aspects of the investment before committing, such as insurance policies, repairs and maintenance costs, tenant preparation fees and health and safety regulations.

An HMO is considered a residential property and is not typically classed as a commercial property. It is regarded as a special type of rental property, since it provides accommodation for multiple occupants in individual rooms, sharing some facilities. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has introduced specific guidelines to protect the welfare of those living in an HMO. Make sure you are aware of any local regulations that may apply when renting out an HMO property.

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