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Guide to sudent lets and HMOs

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The success of your investment in property hinges on there being sufficient demand in the area for the type of property you are letting out.


One major source of demand is students requiring rental accommodation while attending university. But while student letting can be a rewarding sector to tap into, it brings with it a unique set of legislative parameters that you must comply with. Make sure you do your homework or your report card will be marked ‘must do better’.



You may wish to buy a property in a university town for your own children to live in while they complete their studies. This may be placed in the child’s name, but with you standing guarantor, which means you are essentially using your own home as collateral should anything go wrong with your child making monthly repayments. Ensure your little darlings are reliable before you agree to such an arrangement.



If you are renting a property out to a large number of students, you may have to obtain a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence. This is required when a house or flat is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.


Couples that are married or living together constitute a household as do relatives. Therefore, three friends sharing together would be classified as three households, whereas a couple sharing with a third person would be deemed to be two households.


The price of obtaining a licence varies between individual councils, so contact yours for more information. An inspection of your property will be required to receive a certificate, so expect to pay around £250 for an HMO license. Also, remember that HMOs don’t just apply to student lets, but any that come under the criteria listed above.

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