An HMO is a house of multiple occupation, which means it’s a property that has at least three tenants or more all in the same house but not part of the same family. A lot of property owners prefer HMOs because they believe it’s a more efficient way of getting the rental value out of a property. Renters will sometimes prefer this type of rental because it’s cheaper and others may like it because they enjoy being around other people.
What’s the Appeal?
Students and young renters like being able to share and landlords like it because the tenants stay longer and the property owner sees it as a dependable option. There are several steps to making a property a suitable HMO. It’ll need to meet all the legal requirements so that it’s suitable for multiple people. In most situations, it will require getting an HMO license. It’s always advisable to get the help of a professional floor plan creator when making these types of conversions
Do I Need a License?
With a property where you plan to let to at least five or more individuals in one house and if it is three stories high, then these are some of the factors that could mean you have to have an HMO license. If the tenants share kitchen facilities and bathrooms then you almost certainly need a license. Very often even if your rental property meets some and not all of those criteria, then it’s likely you would still need a license.
If you’re unsure whether you need a license then you should check with your local authority. Once you get an HMO license it will be good for five years and if you have more than one HMO property then you’ll need a license for each one. Another thing that’s necessary is getting a gas safety certificate and sending that to the council once a year.
It will also be necessary to keep safety certificates for your electrical appliances as these can be requested at any time. It will also be necessary to have smoke alarms installed inside the properties. If you will need to make substantial changes to the property when converting it then it’s likely you’ll need planning permission to do that.
It’s highly recommended that you keep substantial records when speaking with authorities about the changes. You should also make sure that you keep all applications and approvals on hand just so that you can produce those in the future if needed.
Converting a Property
When you begin the process you want to start by thinking about what your tenants will need and want. If you’re going to be providing appliances and furniture you’ll need to think about what you want to offer and what you will want your tenants to supply. It’ll also be necessary to consider the fact that after five years the property being converted will be visited by the council. They will do a safety rating and health check. If there any parts of the property that are found to be at risk then those issues will have to be remedied.
Some of the common changes made include converting spare rooms into extra bedrooms or bathrooms. In some cases, it may be necessary to add additional walls when altering some rooms. These factors will need to be carefully considered before proceeding.
It’s even possible to convert a garage to make extra space. You will likely need planning permission to do this type of conversion, however. It is sometimes necessary to create reception rooms but it’s not always a good choice. Sometimes creating one is enough and then leaving a dining or living space is a good choice. If a property has no living room or reception area some tenants will find it disconcerting.
What Other Considerations Are There?
It’s important to know that an HMO can sometimes have a higher turnover of tenants than a standard rental property might. For this reason, you might want to consider putting away a couple of months’ worth of rent every year to help cover the void. Making this type of conversion from a rental property to an HMO is often a great investment but it will require more upkeep than other types of properties might.