Westone specialise in property conversion into HMO (Houses for Multiple Occupation). 

We support investors by helping them to understand if the property represents a good investment opportunity and if it has the potential for development. We fully project manage the conversion from start to finish to ensure continuity as well as advise on the mine field of technical and legal responsibilities that accompany HMO conversions.

Step by step we will show you how to change your average house, into multiple occupancy accommodation. We have converted many properties to a very high standard. Take a look at our portfolio to see examples.  

What is an HMO?

A property will be an HMO if it is lived in by people who belong to more than one family and who share one or more facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms. In practice, this includes:

  • Bedsits
  • Shared houses
  • Houses converted into flats which do not meet 1991 Building Regulation standards
  • Hostels

HMOs provide a valuable supply of readily accessible, often low cost, accommodation and play an important part in meeting local housing demand. However, HMOs must provide a safe place to live and hazards are assessed under the Housing Health and Safety Rating Systems.

Fire doors
Fire doors should be provided to each room leading onto the escape route, except for bathrooms and WCs which contain no fire risk. They should be half an hour fire resistant, self-closing and fitted with smoke seals and intumescent strips.

Structure (i.e. walls, ceiling, floor) separating one occupancy (i.e. bedroom, flat, etc.)
from another, and the structure enclosing the escape route (normally the stairway) must provide at least half an hour fire resistance. This requirement is normally satisfied by any brick or block wall, or a timber stud with 12mm thick plasterboard each side.

Emergency lighting
Emergency lighting may be required to the escape route, depending on the complexity and layout of the house and the amount of natural light available. Occupants should be able to leave safely should the normal lighting fail.

Detection system
Two-storey properties require mains operated smoke detectors, at least one situated on each floor of the stairway, linked together so that if one is activated they all sound; three-storey properties require a higher level of automatic fire/smoke detection.

Fire extinguishers/fire blankets
In general, a multi-purpose extinguisher should be provided on each floor with a dry powder extinguisher and fire blanket positioned close to all cooking facilities.

Materials used for filling, covering or forming furniture can present a fire risk, being highly flammable and, in some cases, can produce large quantities of toxic gases such as cyanide or carbon monoxide when in a fire. A letting of furnished accommodation, must comply with the British Standard tests for combustion and fire spread.

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