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Everything you need to know about (Buy to Let) HMO mortgages, including how they differ from traditional mortgages, the benefits of choosing an HMO mortgage, and how to find the right one for you.

What is an HMO Mortgage?

An HMO mortgage is a type of mortgage loan specifically designed for properties that are being used as a Licenced HMO. An HMO mortgage is a type of mortgage specifically designed for the purchase or refinancing of an HMO property.

HMO Definition; What is an HMO?

An HMO property is a property that is occupied by more than one household that shares facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens or other communal spaces.

Types of HMO Mortgage

There are several different types of HMO mortgages available, each with its specific features and terms. Some common types of HMO mortgages include:

HMO mortgages

This is the traditional HMO mortgage product specifically designed for the purchase of HMO properties. This can be for a normal C3/C4 HMO or a mortgage for an HMO that is Sui Generis (large HMO mortgage). This also includes HMO mortgages for first-time buyers and limited companies.

Student HMO mortgage

This mortgage is tailored for properties rented out to students. It’s designed for landlords who own Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that are specifically let to student tenants. These mortgages consider the unique rental patterns and demands associated with student rentals, often offering terms that accommodate the academic year and the higher turnover rates seen with student tenants.

Large HMO Mortgage

This is a mortgage product for larger HMO properties, often defined as those housing more than six tenants. Large HMOs typically fall under the ‘Sui Generis’ planning classification, meaning “of its kind.” These properties require specific licensing and often face stricter lending criteria due to their size and complexity. Read more>

HMO Mortgage for Expats

Designed for expatriates who wish to invest in HMO properties in their home country while living abroad. These mortgages accommodate the unique financial and logistical challenges faced by expats, such as income earned in foreign currencies and the distance from the property.

HMO Mortgage for LLP

This mortgage is specifically for Limited Liability Partnerships that wish to invest in HMO properties. LLPs are a form of business partnership that offers some legal protections to its members. Lenders offering this type of mortgage understand the corporate structure and the need for flexible lending criteria that consider the partnership’s income and legal standing.

HMO Mortgage for Limited Companies (Ltd Co)

Similar to the LLP mortgage but designed for investment through a Limited Company. This type of mortgage considers the corporate entity as the borrower, with lending decisions based on the company’s financial health and the income generated by the HMO property. It’s a popular choice for investors looking to benefit from corporate tax efficiencies.

First Time Landlord HMO Mortgages

Aimed at individuals who are new to the property investment and letting industry. These mortgages provide support and financing options for those purchasing their first HMO property. Lenders may offer tailored advice and terms to help first-time landlords navigate the complexities of HMO management.

HMO Refurbishment mortgage:

This type of mortgage is specifically designed to finance the purchase and renovation of an HMO property. It allows investors to borrow money to both purchase the property and fund any necessary renovations or repairs.

HMO Mortgages with No Minimum Income Requirement

These mortgages are designed for investors who may not have a traditional or substantial income stream. Lenders evaluate the potential income from the HMO property itself rather than the personal income of the borrower, making it easier for investors to enter the market.

HMO Remortgage;

where the property is already owned by a borrower, and they are looking to refinance or remortgage the property on a different product. Benefits of this may be, a reduced rate, or a different mortgage term.

HMO Bridging

an HMO-specific short-term loan that is used to bridge the gap between the purchase of a property and the availability of long-term financing.

HMO Development Finance

This is a type of financing aimed at developers and investors looking to convert or build a property into an HMO. It provides the funds necessary for the development phase, covering costs from construction to conversion, with the aim of either selling the property for a profit or retaining it to generate rental income.

Highlights of HMO Mortgages

  • Rates from 3% APR
  • Up to 85% LTV
  • Loans with no minimum income requirements
  • Loans with zero product/lender fees upfront
  • Loans from £50,000 to £10 million
  • Interest-only or repayment options

HMO vs BTL Mortgages

HMO mortgages and buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages are both types of mortgages designed to purchase rental properties, but there are some key differences between the two.

  • HMO mortgages are specifically for the financing of HMO properties. BTL mortgages can be used to purchase any residential rental property, including single-family dwellings, apartments, and houses.
  • HMO properties are considered to be higher-risk investments by lenders due to the higher potential for vacancy and the need for more frequent repairs and maintenance. As a result, HMO mortgages may have higher deposit requirements and stricter lending criteria than BTL mortgages. Read the full article here

HMO Mortgage Requirements and Lending Criteria

HMO mortgages have different requirements and lending criteria compared to traditional mortgages due to the added risk involved in lending for an HMO property.

Common HMO mortgage requirements include:

  1. Higher deposit: HMO mortgages may require a deposit compared to traditional mortgages, as lenders want to ensure that the borrower has a financial stake in the property.
  2. Strong credit score: A strong credit score is typically required for an HMO mortgage, as it demonstrates the borrower’s ability to manage their finances and make timely payments.
  3. Proof of income: Lenders will typically require proof of the borrower’s income, including tax returns and payslips, to determine their ability to make mortgage payments.
  4. Property appraisal: An appraisal of the property is typically required as part of the mortgage application process, to determine the value of the property and ensure that it is sufficient to secure the mortgage.
  5. Property inspection: An inspection of the property may also be required to ensure that it meets the lender’s standards and is in good condition.
  6. Experienced HMO landlord: Some lenders may require the borrower to have experience as an HMO landlord to qualify for an HMO mortgage. This is because lenders want to ensure that the borrower has the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage an HMO property.

HMO Mortgage Application Process (M)

HMO mortgage application processing times vary depending on several factors, including the lender, application complexity and the current demand for HMO mortgages. It’s common for the processing time for an HMO mortgage to be slightly longer than that of a traditional mortgage, due to the added risk involved in lending on an HMO property.

1. Define Objective

Begin by setting clear investment goals for your HMO property. Determine whether your focus is on immediate rental yield, long-term capital appreciation, or both. This decision will directly influence your mortgage selection strategy.

2. Product Selection

Actively compare and contrast different HMO mortgage products. Evaluate interest rates, loan-to-value ratios, and repayment terms. Engage a specialist mortgage advisor for insights into the best options that align with your investment goals.

3. Decision In Principle

Secure a Decision in Principle (DIP) from a lender. This step involves a preliminary financial assessment to estimate your borrowing capacity. While not a loan guarantee, a DIP is a critical indicator of your mortgage eligibility and is a useful tool for property negotiations.

4. Documentation

Compile all necessary documents meticulously. This package should include financial statements, proof of income, identification, and property details. Accuracy in documentation expedites the mortgage process.

5. Full Application

Submit a detailed mortgage application. This crucial step requires a comprehensive disclosure of your financial status and plans for the HMO. Ensure complete transparency and accuracy in your application to avoid delays or rejections.

6. Valuation

Facilitate the property valuation process arranged by the lender. This assessment confirms the property’s worth and determines the loan amount. It’s important to ensure the property meets the expected standards to pass this evaluation successfully.

7. Completion

Finalise the mortgage agreement once approved. This stage involves the legal and financial transfer processes. Prompt and thorough action here will enable you to quickly assume ownership and begin managing your HMO property.HMO mortgage application processing times vary depending on several factors, including the lender, application complexity and the current demand for HMO mortgages. It’s common for the processing time for an HMO mortgage to be slightly longer than that of a traditional mortgage, due to the added risk involved in lending on an HMO property.

HMO Mortgage Fees

  • Arrangement Fee: This fee is levied by the lender as a charge for the administrative costs of setting up the mortgage. It can be a significant amount and is sometimes added to the mortgage balance.
  • Valuation Fee: This covers the cost of assessing the property’s market value and rental potential, crucial for the lender to ensure the loan amount is appropriate.
  • Legal Fees: These are paid to solicitors or conveyancers for managing the legal intricacies of transferring property ownership and securing the mortgage against the property.
  • Broker Fees: Incurred when using a mortgage broker’s services to find and arrange a mortgage. This fee compensates the broker for their advice and assistance throughout the process.
  • Booking Fee: A charge to reserve a specific mortgage deal with a lender, often part of the overall application cost and paid upfront.
  • Higher Lending Charge: Applicable when borrowing a high loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, this fee compensates the lender for the increased risk of lending a larger portion of the property’s value.
  • Early Repayment Charge: Imposed if you repay the mortgage or a significant part of it earlier than agreed, compensating the lender for the loss of expected interest income.
  • Exit Fees: These are charged when you fully repay your mortgage or transfer it to another lender, covering administrative costs of terminating the account.
  • Surveyor’s Fee: Pays for a comprehensive examination of the property’s condition and any defects, beyond the basic valuation for the lender.
  • Product Fee: Similar to an arrangement fee, this is charged for the mortgage product itself, reflecting the complexity or risk associated with the loan.
  • Application Fee: This fee covers the cost of processing the mortgage application, including credit checks and initial administrative expenses.
  • Mortgage Account Fee: Covers the administrative expenses of setting up, managing, and eventually closing your mortgage account, often wrapped into the loan’s initial or final payments.
  • Telegraphic Transfer Fee: This fee is for electronically transferring the mortgage funds from the lender to the solicitor, ensuring the money arrives securely and promptly.
  • Missed Payment Fees: Charged when a mortgage payment is not made on the scheduled date, as a penalty and to cover additional administrative costs.
  • Late Payment Fees: Incurred for payments made after the due date, intended to discourage late payments and cover the lender’s additional administrative efforts.
  • Overpayment Fee: Applied if you exceed the lender’s specified overpayment limit, as overpaying can affect the lender’s anticipated interest earnings.HMO Mortgage Rates (M)

HMO Mortgage Rates

Finding the best HMO mortgage rates can be a challenge. However, with the right guidance and advice, you can find the perfect mortgage for your HMO property. Here is a sample of live HMO mortgages.


HMO Mortgage Lenders (M)

HMO mortgage lenders in the UK offer to finance individuals who want to purchase a property specifically to rent it out to multiple tenants.  HMO properties are typically larger than traditional residential properties and are often divided into individual rooms or units that are rented out separately.

HMO Mortgage FAQs

  1. What is an HMO Mortgage? An HMO mortgage is a loan secured against a property deemed to be a House in Multiple Occupation. This type of mortgage is used to purchase or refinance a property that will be used as a house of multiple occupancy.
  2. Do I Need an HMO Mortgage for a House of Multiple Occupation? Yes, if you own or are looking to buy a property that is rented out to a group of people who share amenities but do not form a single household, you will need an HMO mortgage.
  3. What Happens If I Don’t Get an HMO Mortgage for an HMO Property? Operating an HMO on a regular mortgage can breach the lender’s terms & conditions. The lender might recall the loan, putting you in a difficult position.
  4. How Quickly Can I Get HMO Mortgage Terms? The time to get an agreement in principle for an HMO mortgage can be as little as 2 hours, depending on the lender and your circumstances.
  5. How Long Does It Take to Get an HMO Mortgage? Typically, the process from application to completion takes about 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary based on the lender and specific circumstances.
  6. Are There Any Upfront Fees for HMO Mortgages? There are usually no upfront fees charged by brokers for HMO mortgages, but you may encounter valuation and legal costs payable to the lender before completion.
  7. Can I Get an HMO Mortgage Through a Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership? Yes, many HMO lenders offer specific products for Limited Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships.
  8. Is Obtaining an HMO Mortgage Easier Than a Standard Buy-to-Let Mortgage? Yes, obtaining an HMO mortgage is now a common process and can be just as straightforward as obtaining a standard buy-to-let mortgage.
  9. How Do HMO Mortgage Rates Compare to Standard Buy-to-Let Mortgages? HMO mortgage rates are generally a bit higher than standard buy-to-let mortgage rates but are still competitive.
  10. Can I Get an HMO Mortgage with Adverse Credit? Yes, it’s possible to get an HMO mortgage with adverse credit, though it might be slightly more challenging. There are specialist lenders who deal specifically with such cases.
  11. Can Overseas Applicants Apply for HMO Mortgages? Yes, there are options for overseas applicants, though additional criteria may apply.
  12. Do I Need to Be a Homeowner to Apply for an HMO Mortgage? Being a homeowner can provide more options, but it’s not strictly necessary. First-time buyers can also apply, though they might face stricter criteria and potentially higher interest rates or restricted LTVs.
  13. What is the Minimum and Maximum Number of Bedrooms for Properties on HMO Mortgages? HMO mortgages have been placed for properties ranging from 3 bedrooms up to 300 bedrooms.
  14. How is Rental Income Assessed for HMO Properties? The rental income for HMOs is evaluated based on the total potential income from all rented rooms or units. Lenders might also consider historical rental data, and local rental market conditions, and apply a vacancy allowance to account for unoccupied periods​​​.
  15. What is the Process for Applying for an HMO Mortgage? The process involves researching lenders, understanding HMO regulations, consulting with a mortgage broker, preparing financial documents, completing an application, and going through underwriting and approval​​.

HMO Mortgage News

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