If your current property is in a good location, for example, a busy student area or close to good transport connections, then you may want to consider converting it into an HMO.
The good news, HMO’s provide more people with affordable accommodation, while generating a rental income increase of four to five times your current return – compared to a single tenanted property.
If you are considering converting your property into an HMO, here are five tips to do it easily.
Tip 1: HMO Licensing
A critical legal aspect of letting an HMO is getting the right licence.
To check if your property needs to be licenced, you can contact your local council. Or speak to us… we provide our clients with an HMO Licensing service, which includes applying for the local Council’s property licensing scheme on their behalf.
The HMO licence will need to ensure that the property:
- is safe for tenants to live in
- is in good condition
- has an adequate number of smoke detectors
- has appropriate fire exits
- has enough sinks, cookers, baths and toilets for the number of tenants
- is well managed
Tip 2: Comply with Safety
There are various safety compliance measures you’ll need to meet to let an HMO. This includes:
- getting an annual gas safety certificate
- installing the required number of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- getting safety certificates for electrical appliances
- keeping exits clear from obstructions and marking fire exits clearly
- providing emergency lighting for fire safety
- locks for each bedroom/flat
- emergency lighting
- keeping pest control treatment records
Tip 3: Meet the Minimum Room Size Requirements
Your HMO property will need to comply to the following minimum HMO room sizes:
- No room less than 4.64 square metres can be used as sleeping accommodation. This size can only be used by one person aged under 10 years
- A room size of 6.51 square metres minimum, can only be used by one person aged over 10 years
- A room size of 10.22 square metres minimum, can only be used by two persons aged over 10 years
Depending on your local council, there may be other criteria to meet.
Tip 4: Renovating Your Property to an HMO
You may need to renovate your property to make it suitable for three or more tenants from separate households to rent.
The key is to provide sufficient space, a good layout, the right facilities, good furniture and reliable appliances.
Our renovation tips:
- Add a loft unit on the second (or third) floor
- Extend the rear of the property to add a unit (if the backyard is large enough)
- Add value to long-term renters by maximising the outdoor space – provide undercover seating and BBQ areas, patio or garden areas
- Convert existing living areas into separate units
- Prioritise kitchens and bathrooms – this means installing ensuites and kitchenettes in all units and converting the current kitchen to a communal kitchen and laundry
- Convert the garage into an additional living space
- Don’t be cheap with important items such as fridges, ovens, sofas and beds.
- Ensure the renovations are complete when tenants move in.
Whatever renovation works are needed, we recommend engaging a professional. And remember, you may also need planning permission for the renovations.
Tip 5: Research Carefully
Depending on the features of your property, converting it into an HMO can be an effective investment with very profitable rental yields, but it does require more work and maintenance.
The key is to include all your costs into your budget – renovations, safety inclusions, licence, etc, to check that converting to an HMO is the right process for your property.
Before you start, do your research. Talk to HMO Conversion Specialists, HMO Letting Agents and your local council. Research what is involved and compare the additional investment needed against the additional profit you’re likely make.
Our HMO Promise
As specialists in HMO conversions since 2006, we promise you:
1) On-time and on budget completion regardless of the size or condition of your property.
2) You’ll be kept up to date at all stages. Communication is our key to success.
3) There’ll be no surprises and no excuses. We deliver what we say we will.
4) Your HMO conversion will be compliant, and you will receive the HMO licence
5) Rental returns of three times your current monthly rent (some of our clients achieve up to five times increase)
If you want to know if your single dwelling house can be converted to an HMO then call us on +44 (0) 203 286 6468 or email us at HMO@RekaProperty.co.uk.