Within the spheres of real estate brokerage and housing design, one term resonates prominently – HMO, the acronym for House in Multiple Occupation. HMOs are distinct properties landlords embrace for their potential to yield more substantial financial returns than conventional single-occupancy properties.

Within the spheres of real estate brokerage and housing design, one term resonates prominently – HMO, the acronym for House in Multiple Occupation. HMOs are distinct properties landlords embrace for their potential to yield more substantial financial returns than conventional single-occupancy properties.

Nevertheless, it is of the utmost importance to recognise that the road to success in the HMO industry is fraught with obstacles and rules that are way more stringent than those controlling regular rental properties. The following paragraphs will delve into the five fundamental tenets of designing an HMO.

  1. Planning Permission and Licensing 

Before you can even begin designing your HMO, you need to ask yourself a primary question: Do you already have the necessary blessings from your local authorities, such as planning permissions and licencing?

You are required to obtain permission from the local planning authority if you intend to convert your single-family home into an HMO or if you are considering making structural modifications to the building. On the other hand, licensing becomes essential if your HMO will house five or more tenants from two or more households.

  1. Space and Layout

A pivotal determinant in your HMO’s quality and profitability trajectory is the rooms’ spatial allocation and architectural layout. You need to ensure that your HMO meets the minimum space standards set by the Housing Act 1985, which prescribes the minimum floor area and ceiling height for each room based on the number and age of the anticipated occupants.

 Subsequently, the task evolves into maximising space while crafting an environment that offers both comfort and functionality for your tenants. In this regard, an HMO architect becomes necessary, as they help you effectively repurpose housing space to meet local standards.

  1. Safety and Security

Ensuring your tenants’ and property’s welfare and security is another non-negotiable aspect of HMO design. This entails the installation of fire alarms, fire doors, fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting within the premises.

Additionally, a robust defence against potential threats of burglary, vandalism, or damage demands the installation of secure locks, surveillance cameras, and alarms. Also, adequate provision must extend to ventilation, heating, lighting, and electrical safety.

  1. Amenities and Facilities

To entice and keep tenants in your HMO, you must provide them with adequate amenities and facilities that are up to par with their requirements and the standards they have set for themselves. These include:

  • A well-equipped kitchen complete with ample appliances, utensils, storage, workspaces, and sinks, all maintained in a state of pristine hygiene.

  • Restroom facilities that are maintained to the best possible standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Ideally, with a ratio of one bathroom for every room or one toilet for every two rooms.

  • A communal living area where tenants can converge for social interactions, relaxation, or hosting guests, outfitted with comfortable seating, tables, entertainment systems, and connectivity provisions.

  • Laundry amenities facilitating cloth washing and drying, either through the inclusion of in-house washing machines and dryers or the arrangement of accessible laundrettes.

  • A garden or outdoor space that is thoughtfully maintained and enhanced with outdoor furnishings or equipment allows renters to bask in the open air, natural sunlight, and green environs; this space can also be used for community events.

  1. Style and Aesthetics

The final stroke in your HMO’s canvas concerns the decorations and fittings that envelop your property. Create a welcoming and attractive atmosphere that reflects your identity as a landlord by including artwork or antique furniture in living spaces

It is equally important to align your HMO with the tastes and preferences of your target demographic, choosing a thematic palette, colour scheme, furniture ensemble, and decor that resonate with your tenants. However, durability, ease of maintenance, and cost-efficiency should underpin the decisions governing the aesthetic and style of your HMO.

In Conclusion

Mastering the art of HMO design is a potentially rewarding and lucrative pursuit, provided you abide by these five essential tips. By adhering to planning permissions, optimising spaces, fortifying security, providing amenities, and tailoring your HMO to tenant aesthetic taste, you can create a high-quality and high-demand property that will generate steady income for years to come.

By Carol

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