How To Make An HMO Attractive To Renters Demands Now And In The Future

Houses in multiple (HMOs) have become an increasingly popular choice of accommodation over recent years and their popularity continues to rise.

For young adults faced with house and rental prices that exceed growth of net income HMOs offer an affordable independent living alternative at a fraction of the price while adding social benefits.

Currently there is an oversupply of poorly converted and badly finished HMOs, however tenants expectations are now on the rise and to compete, landlords need to be aiming much higher with their properties to create modern and comfortable living spaces that pay dividends not only to their tenants needs, but also to their own investments now and in the future.

Top tips for making your HMO attractive to tenants

  1. Large double rooms
    The larger the bedrooms in your HMO the better, size really does matter. There are many providers cramming in as many rooms as possible and yet these will not appeal long-term to professional tenants. By incorporating larger than average rooms into your HMO conversion now will leave you in good stead for the future.

    To make the available space in your property work you may need to alter the existing layout with the removal or addition of new walls, walkways and the repositioning of staircases. This will require planning permission and building regulation agreement so do make sure you seek professional advice.

  2. Modern en-suites
    If it is possible and it does not impact on the bedroom size, then modern en-suites are particularly desirable to professional tenants. With many existing HMOs having only shared bathroom facilities and future purpose built HMOs bound to have en-suites, it is ideal to add them into your conversion plans now rather than later.

  3. Fully furnished rooms
    Letting out your HMO with fully furnished rooms can be attractive to tenants who cannot afford to purchase their own furniture. Many of your future tenants will have just left university or are leaving home for the first time and therefore providing everything they need is an appealing proposition. It requires the tenant to make no additional financial outlay and is making their transition to renting and living independently that much easier.

    As the landlord, this can be expensive initially, but it is likely you will recuperate this expenditure through higher rental brackets particularly if purchasing quality goods that will last for many years.

  4. Communal living room
    When converting an existing property into an HMO, many investors have chosen to convert the existing living room into an additional bedroom. That isn’t to say that they don’t provide any communal space at all as they might have a large kitchen in the property that they feel tenants can use instead. On paper this does increase the potential rental return that the property can deliver, however, the other side to this is that you need to attract the tenants in the first place. We have already established young professional adults do value the social aspect of living in an HMO and not having a room for them to relax in may make your property less desirable over another.

  5. Desirable yet functional kitchen
    Part of your HMO conversion is bound to include installing a modern fitted kitchen, it really is a vital part of the overall package on offer to tenants. From an aesthetic perspective it must enhance the property itself whilst remaining durable and functional for the high usage level. Units and appliances want to be of a good quality and hard wearing. By investing in your HMO kitchen at the point of conversion it will lessen your repair and replacement costs in the future and still be attracting tenants for years to come.

  6. Smart communications
    An HMO with smart communications is appealing to tenants, in addition to complementing the luxury living experience this fast evolving technology can save tenants money, thus enabling them to lessen their energy usage by, as an example, remotely turning their heating and lighting on and off.

    Currently this technology is not a standard element of every home but it is inevitable that in time it will be, it may be cost effective to invest and install as part of the conversion rather than at a later date.

    In summary, our most important piece of advice is to always keep the profile of your target tenants in mind when making design and conversion decisions, as this will not only create a modern living environment suited to your tenants requirements and your investment needs in the short term, but will also continue to bring you good levels of revenue and success in the long term.

Seeking expert advice?

If you have any questions following this article, want to discuss your project or confused by HMO legalities: planning permission requirements; licensing; building regulations and local environmental requirements contact HMO specialists Westone Housing on 01733 320500 or visit www.westonehousing.co.uk