HMO Design: Larger Bedrooms Vs. En Suite Bathrooms

HMO design. En suite bathroom

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.

Video Highlights

[0.55] Bedrooms: Bigger is better
[1.35] Ideal room sizes
[2.16] En suite bathrooms
[3.10] Location matters
[4.04] Join our FREE training today


Video Transcript

Hello and welcome to our video series on HMOs. This is where we’re going to be looking at a number of client questions that have been asked of us regarding how to find, set up, and manage professional HMOs across the UK.

So, I’m on site at the moment on a project. Later in this series, I’ll be publishing a video walkthrough to show you around this property but I thought that this would as good a place as any to record myself answering some of your questions.

So the question I’ll be looking at today is whether you should be thinking in terms of providing larger bedrooms for your tenants or whether you should be using some of that space to build an en suite bathrooms.

More Space Vs. En Suite

Bedrooms: Bigger is Better

It sounds obvious but when it comes to HMOs it’s best to provide the largest room sizes that you can. There are a lot of HMO providers that cram in as many bedrooms as they can possibly fit into a property. The downside to this strategy is that those rooms are not going to appeal to professional tenants over the long term.

But don’t get me wrong. If you’re working to attract a particular type of tenant or tenant profile then you can make it work with these types of properties but they are very limiting.

In my opinion, it is best to keep your options open. If you are ever going to consider going for the professional tenant market you will want to present the biggest room sizes, of the best quality, that you can.

Ideal Room Sizes

When you are looking for HMOs in which to invest you want to be looking at properties that provide the largest rooms possible.

The minimum that a bedroom should be is six and a half square metres. This is so long as it is a square or a rectangle. If it’s this size but is an unusual shape or has a chimney space built into it then it’s not going top work so well. It’s got to have a usable six and a half metres of floor space to get a decent bedroom out of it.

Single bedroom. Room sizes. HMO design. En suite bathrooms

So, six and a half square metres will give you the minimum size you need for a single room. This size room, however, once the furniture has been put in there, does not give very much space. We try and aim for double rooms of eight, nine, ten square metres where we can but obviously, this depends on the property as there aren’t really any standard room sizes in houses.

En Suites Bathrooms

Whether or not you install an en suite bathroom as part of the bedroom depends on how large the room is. I wouldn’t install an en suite if by doing so it pushed the room size right down to that minimum of six and a half square metres. The truth is that most tenants would prefer a double room with a double bed. So, If you sacrifice this for a single bed with an en-suite you might be making the room less desirable rather than more so.

Ideally, what you want to end up with a is a minimum of eight square metres for a double room. If there is some excess over that then that is when you should start thinking about an en suite bathroom.

HMO (house in multiple occupation) design. En suite bathrooms

En suite bathrooms work really well as long as you don’t make too many sacrifices in order to have them. They’re great but they’re far from a necessity.

We have a few HMOs where we have a ration of one to four or one to three tenants per bathroom. As long as you fit within those requirements you should be ok without en suites.

Location Matters

In some locations, it will be more important to think in terms of en suite bathrooms than in others. This is, of course, because of what the competition is offering.

In City centres there tend to be very few HMOs and the flats there tend to be two bedroom properties and tend to have en suite bathrooms. If these are the types of property that you are competing with then you will be best placed if you provide the same.

If however, your property is in an area of mainly HMOs then you are going to be competing with a very different kind of housing stock where the other landlords don’t tend to provide en suite bathrooms.

If this is the case you don’t have to cram en suite bathrooms into the smaller rooms just to give them more appeal. There are plenty of other ways to make your HMOs stand out. Over the coming weeks, we will be looking at this in more depth.

Join Our FREE Training Today

Thank you for watching this video. If you liked this content then why not join our free online property training course? In there we cover a range of different property strategies to help you get started on building a long-term property portfolio or creating a cash flowing property business. We also look at ways to increase your return on investment with any of the properties you may be considering and we also have a couple of cheat sheets and downloadable documents. Just click the image below to join our free training course.

If you have any questions or thought you’d like to share on how to go about HMO design and ensuite bathrooms then please leave them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you and we’re always happy to help.

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