A house in multiple occupation, better known as HMO, is a property that is rented to three or more tenants, who aren’t part of the same household, that share amenities.
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 current property into an HMO, here’s what how to do it.
Step 1: Location, location, location
Before you consider converting your property to an HMO, check that it is in the right location. For example, a busy student area or close to good transport connections.
Step 2: HMO Licensing
A critical legal aspect of letting an HMO is getting the relevant licence. If you’re letting an HMO, it’s highly likely you’ll need some sort of licence 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
To check if your property needs to be licenced, you can contact your local council. Or speak to us about our HMO Licensing service, which includes applying for the local Council’s property licensing scheme on your behalf.
Step 3: Safety Compliance
There are various 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
Step 4: 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.
Step 5: Converting to an HMO
You may need to adjust make your property suitable for three or more tenants from separate households to rent.
The key areas to focus on in the conversion is providing sufficient space, a good layout, the right facilities, good furniture and reliable appliances.
For example, if you own a three-bedroom house, this can typically be converted into six units with the following suggested conversions:
- Adding a loft unit on the second (or third) floor
- Extending the rear of the property to add a unit (if the backyard is large enough)
- Converting existing living areas into separate units
- Installing ensuites and kitchenettes in all units
- Converting the current kitchen to a communal kitchen and laundry
- Converting the garage into an additional living space
You may need to move or construct walls to alter room sizes or add plumbing to “spare” rooms to create a shared bathroom.
Whatever works are needed, we recommend engaging a professional. Remember, you may also need planning permission for the renovations.
Before you start planning the conversion, we advise that you hire a specialist HMO agent so they can confirm if the property can be converted or not.
They can also advise you on the planning, licensing and health & safety requirements.
As landlords and property investors ourselves, we combine our love of property, design innovation and technical excellence to help our clients convert existing single dwelling houses into HMOs.
We bring together our trusted team, which includes…
- Heating engineer
- Project Manager/Builder
- Scaffolding team
- Roofing experts
… to convert single dwelling properties into innovative, affordable and quality HMOs.
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.