Yes, absolutely, landlords need to follow all the regulations that the law demands. When taking out insurance they confirm that they are complying with UK laws and are responsible if not. Landlords, therefore, have to make sure that they follow all current and up to date laws.
Do landlords have to comply with the new HMO requirements from the 1st of October 2018?
I have specifically asked some Insurance Companies what happens in the event that a client does not have the correct licencing. They confirmed that they would take this into account if a claim was made and it could lead to a claim rejection. It is therefore critical that landlords have a licence for their property. It is not just the licence that is important but also to comply with all special conditions. Generally, most licences have a long list of items that need to be complete to be compliant. It is most important that all the special conditions are adhered to and signed off by the Council. If the correct license is not in place in the event of a claim there is a high likelihood of claim rejection.
Are all the Councils the same?
No, not all Councils are the same. There is general HMO licencing for the whole of the Country but there is also selective licencing. This is with respect to individual councils as they have their own way to deal with HMO numbers and standards. It may be that they have added additional requirements for landlords in certain properties. Landlords have to meet all the criteria applicable to them.
Do landlords need to send a copy of the licence to their Insurance Company
No, it is not required when taking out the insurance. There is a statement of fact as part of any policy and policyholders confirm this is correct when taking out the insurance. It is absolutely critical under the new Commercial Act that this is completely truthful and correct. When making a claim against the insurance there will be a requirement to supply a copy of the licence to ensure that it is fully complied with.
Do landlords need to check if they need a licence?
Yes, it is very important to be fully aware of what legal requirements as a landlord to adhere to. They can find these by speaking to their local authority. It is important to comply with all requirements of the local authority and the Government.
When becoming a landlord it is essential to understand the requirements of maintaining a property fit to live in. If landlords are unsure of how to be compliant we would suggest that they employ a professional that can do this on their behalf. It will be critical with any insurance claim that is made that the law has been completely complied with.