HMOs are different to standard buy to let properties in that regulations regarding fire safety can be more complicated and are often more expensive to implement. There are good reasons for this. For example, in an HMO there are going to be more internal locks than in a family home and the tenants might not even speak to each other that often. But don’t worry. Fire regulations tend to be nothing more than common sense and your local HMO enforcement officer is there to help.
Save time and money on your next HMO refurbishment project simply by fostering the right kind of relationship with your refurbishment contractor. Communication, of course, is key, as is a detailed schedule of works where each development phase is signed off on completion. Most importantly, however, you want to be visiting the site when you can. Problems that are identified early on cost a lot less than problems that only become apparent later down the line.
The truth is that not every house is suitable for use as an HMO property. Whether it’s bedrooms or communal spaces, room sizes matter and there is best practice to follow not least of all regarding the fundamental matter of keeping your tenants happy and the property fully habited. So, stop wasting time viewing properties that are not going to work by setting out some rules about exactly what you’re looking for before you start your search.
Government rules for houses of multiple occupation can be a bit of a minefield. Landlords ask us all the time about how they can be sure that they’re meeting HMO regulation head on. The good news is that your local HMO officer is there to help and as simple as it sounds a phone call to your local authority is all it will take to get you on the right track.
Reduce costs and increase your profits as a landlord by making your house in multiple occupation (HMO) more energy efficient. By just making two small and inexpensive changes to the property you will significantly reduce your utility bills and add to your bottom line. But, it’s not all about the money. These days it’s every landlord’s responsibility to make sure that their properties consume as little energy as possible.
In order for you and your contractors to stay organised during your HMO refurbishment project you are going to want to draw up 4 key documents or checklists. The first is a schedule of works so that you know when renovation work is going to happen. The second is a complete furniture checklist so you know exactly what you need for each room. The third is a full project schedule or diary and finally, you’ll want a room plan to which to refer. Remember, detail can be easy to forget so you need to stay organised
In the world of HMO investors, today’s topic can be somewhat controversial. It’s the question of communal spaces and whether or not you should include a communal lounge in your properties. It is obvious that converting an existing lounge into an extra bedroom is going to increase your potential yield. But, in our opinion, by doing this you are incurring a hidden long-term cost and losing control over the tenant profile that your property is going to attract.
When it comes to designing the space in your HMO you should be putting the needs of your tenants first. You don’t want them falling out over access to facilities. The ideal arrangement is 1 bathroom to every 3 tenants but this is not always possible. Health and safety regulations typically allow for a ration of 1 to 4. If in doubt as to how many bathrooms you need in your HMO we advise speaking with the local HMO officer to discuss the property.
It’s a question of balance. When we’re looking at HMO property we are always on the lookout for houses of between four and six bedrooms. Of course how many bedrooms you should be looking for depends on your strategy. HMOs provide great rental yields and of course the more bedrooms you have the greater the rental yield. Too few rooms and you might not be able to cover the costs but too many, in the wrong location, and the property might be difficult to manage or fill.
If you’re thinking about converting a property into an HMO you’re going to have to think hard about the layout of the house. Today we’re going to be looking at the installation of en suite bathrooms and more specifically at whether or not it is worth sacrificing some of that precious bedroom space to have them included in your HMO design.