Selling an HMO property is much more intricate than a regular property sale. Every aspect from the valuation procedure to the paperwork needed for a sale is one-of-a-kind and exclusive to HMO transactions.
It can easily become overwhelming, so it’s important to have your facts in order before you begin.
Cash house buyers are the simplest option when selling an HMO property. At Property Saviour, our experts will guide you through every step of the process. If you want to find out more about selling an HMO first, this article will answer all of your questions.
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What is an HMO property?
An HMO is a House in Multiple Occupation. According to the Government website, if three or more unrelated people live in your home forming more than one household, and if you share a bathroom, toilet, or kitchen with other tenants, then your home is a House in Multiple Occupations.
There is a separate classification for a Large HMO. If at least five tenants live there forming more than one household, and if they share a bathroom, toilet, or kitchen with other tenants, then your home is considered a Large HMO.
HMOs are different from households where the residents are married, cohabiting, or related as family or stepfamily. They can include shared houses, hostels, halls of residence, and employee accommodation.
HMOs have different requirements for health and safety regulations and maintenance than other types of rental properties which are occupied by one household.
For a Large HMO, with more than five tenants, a licence from the local council is required. Some local authorities also require a licence for Small HMOs.
How can I check if a property has an HMO licence?
In most local authorities, an HMO licence must be visible in any communal area. The licence should display the name, address and phone number of the licensee or property manager. Additionally, a copy of the current gas safety certificate must be on show.
To check if a property has an HMO licence, look around any communal areas.
How do I get an HMO licence?
To obtain an HMO license, you need to make sure the property is suitable to be a House in Multiple Occupancy. Primarily, this includes meeting the relevant health and safety requirements.
These might include installing fire doors, supplying fire blankets and fire extinguishers, and using certain types of door handles and locks (e.g. Thumb Turn Locks).
The specific HMO requirements can differ between local authorities, so you should be able to find all the necessary information on the website of your local council.
If you are uncertain whether your HMO requires an HMO license before it is put on the market, you can contact your local authority council.
Usually, the information you need can be found on their website, but you can also get in touch with someone from the council for extra details or clarification.
HMO licenses need to be renewed before their expiration. Typically, they last for five years, though this may change depending on the local authority. Landlords will also need to obtain a license for a cost of between £100 to £200 per year.
Differences between selling an HMO and a regular property
When selling an HMO, it’s important to have all the necessary documents ready. This provides potential buyers with the assurance that they know what they’re getting into. Documents needed for HMO sales include, but are not limited to,
- A floor plan,
- Building regulations certificate,
- Planning permission,
- Fire alarm certificate,
- Gas and electric safety certificates,
- A large HMO licence certificate,
- An EPC certificate,
- Tenants’ details
- Tenancy agreements, and records of rent paid.
- HMO accounts are ready as well.
For the best outcome, it’s recommended to work with an experienced HMO estate agent or cash house buyer who can help you make sure you have all the necessary documentation.
Speaking to a solicitor is also advised to ensure that you’ve got everything you need to make the sale.
HMO insurance information
As you’d anticipate, your HMO insurance policy terms will be different to those of a single property. Make sure to register your property as an HMO for sale, as failing to do so could put your HMO insurance coverage at risk.
You may need to examine the replacement cost of items in your property and include that in any HMO insurance quote you receive.
Crucially, HMO purchasers must be able to source the money to buy your HMO or be cash buyers. Ideally, they should possess the funds necessary to buy your HMO or have an HMO mortgage in principle. Securing an HMO mortgage is usually tougher and more costly than a standard residential mortgage, and the buyer will typically need to go to a dedicated HMO lender.
This is one of the reasons why selling an HMO can be harder and why sellers usually prefer cash buyers.
When someone buys an HMO, they usually anticipate the current tenants to remain in the property. In reality, it can be simpler to sell an HMO with occupants already in place.
It’s beneficial to inform your tenants that you will be selling the HMO at the start of the process. You can assure them that they will be able to continue living on the property.
How to value an HMO property?
Valuing an HMO property for sale can be tricky. Most of the time, an HMO – especially a large one – is not valued like a normal house; instead, it is valued as a business, with its value based more on the income it generates than its physical worth.
However, there are exceptions. For instance, a small HMO which could be used as a single-family home may be valued like a regular property.
It is vital to correctly value your HMO when you put it up for sale – an incorrect valuation will cause issues with the sale later. Fortunately, Gaffsy can offer you a no-obligation cash offer for your HMO, giving you the security of a guaranteed cash buyer – for free.
What is the process of an HMO sales transaction?
When it comes to the process of selling a house of multiple occupancy, the length of time it will take depends on the method you choose. For example, if you decide to sell your HMO at auction, the sale should be completed within 28 days.
This includes the marketing period and is dependent on there being bids placed on your HMO.
You could also opt to sell your HMO on the open market. This can be more complex.
- Firstly, you need to find an estate agent experienced in selling HMOs. Your HMO will then be marketed, though it can take many months to find a buyer due to the smaller pool of buyers for HMOs compared to other types of property.
- Additionally, the conveyancing process can also be lengthy as there are more factors to consider with an HMO.
A third option is to sell your HMO directly to a cash buyer. This is a fast and guaranteed way of securing a sale.
At Property Saviour, we can provide you with a no-obligation cash offer within 60 minutes and can complete the purchase faster than most estate agents. We can also work to your preferred timeline.
What is the Best Way to Sell an HMO?
If you’re looking to sell your HMO, there are several different routes you can take.
- Using an estate agent is one method, but bear in mind that not all estate agents are familiar with HMOs. If this is the route you choose, be sure to ask for a written quote of their fees. They may charge a higher commission than usual for selling an HMO.
- Auctioning is another option to consider, although not all property auctions sell HMOs. You may find the process is quicker than using an estate agent, but you will still need to allow time for marketing and, assuming your HMO sells, the completion of the sale will take at least 28 days.
- The quickest way to get a guaranteed sale is to sell your HMO directly to a cash buyer or investor. A strong cash buyer or investor is ready to buy and can move quickly, meaning an agreement can be made within a few days.
How to secure a quick sale for an HMO?
Selling an HMO can be a complex and lengthy process. However, there are a few steps you can take to make it go smoother. Firstly, ensure you have all the necessary documents that we outlined earlier.
It is essential to be transparent with potential buyers about the property. If they uncover any issues that you haven’t declared, this can lead to delays, negotiations over the price, and even the buyer withdrawing from the sale.
- Choosing the right buyer is key to a quick HMO sale. Look for someone who is experienced with buying HMOs and understands the requirements for licensing and running one.
- To ensure a speedy sale, make sure the property is in good condition. Any repairs should be taken care of and all safety certificates and licences should be up to date and valid.
Sell to us!
If you need to sell your buy-to-let property or HMO quickly, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We can sell a house faster than estate agents, so you can reach your property goals without delay.
Our experience with purchasing buy-to-lets and HMOs can save you from costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and repair costs. Get the ball rolling with a free cash offer today.
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