How To Turn Your Property Into An HMO: A Practical Guide For Ambitious Landlords

Over the last few years, it has become more complicated to earn an income from renting out homes; landlords have had to grapple with various legal strictures as well as the cost of living crisis, and the accompanying financial effects. 

As a result of these difficulties, one increasingly common technique landlords are using to maximise their earning potential is to convert properties into houses in multiple occupations, also known as HMOs. 

The term ‘HMO’ refers to any rented property – be it an apartment, house, or building – that is being let out to more than one household at any given time. HMOs come with a range of unique pros and cons, but they are particularly popular with landlords as they provide greater security and increased revenue. 

If you would like to hop on the HMO bandwagon and bump up your rental earnings, here are some top tips for turning your property into an HMO.  

Get Your License

The first thing you will have to do to become an HMO landlord is to get a license. This is legally required if you are planning to let out your property to five or more tenants, but may also be needed if you will have fewer than 5. You should check the guidance of your local council to find out which rules apply in your area because everywhere is different. 

Your license will be valid for 5 years. If you’re planning to have more than one HMO, you will need an individual license for each property, so that’s something to bear in mind. 

Safety First

Ensuring the safety and comfort of your prospective HMO tenants is crucial. This means making sure the property is free from any damage, has no damp or ventilation issues, and doesn’t contain any other hazards to human health. For more details, you must follow the guidance of the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act of 2018. 

You will also need to have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms fitted, and make sure you have an up-to-date Gas Safety Certificate. The latter can be acquired with the help of experienced professionals such as Trade Facilities Services, which offer tried-and-trusted gas safety certificate provision for landlords in London. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information and arrange the inspection for your Gas Safety Certificate as soon as possible. 

Overhaul The Kitchens And Bathrooms

As you start working on your property to transform it into a well-appointed and comfortable HMO, it’s recommended that you focus in particular on the condition of the kitchen and bathrooms. 

These are the facilities that tenants will be especially interested in inspecting when they come for a viewing, and if they are not up to scratch you could find yourself struggling to find lodgers. Make sure that they are well-equipped, stylish, and thoughtfully furnished, perhaps with a few special touches to make your prospective tenants feel more at home. 

Be Smart With Room Conversions

When it comes to turning a property into an HMO, it can be tempting to turn as many rooms as possible into bedrooms for prospective tenants. However, you have to think about the living conditions of your renters and ensure that each bedroom has plenty of space. This is to prevent overcrowding, so be sensible when it comes to your room conversions, and be sure to prioritise the comfort and well-being of your new tenants. 

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