Reduce costs and increase your profits as a landlord by making your house of multiple occupancy (HMO) more energy efficient. By just making two small and inexpensive changes to the property you will significantly reduce your utility bills and add to your bottom line. But, it’s not all about the money. These days it’s every landlord’s responsibility to make sure that their properties consume as little energy as possible.
In this article we’re going to be looking at two browser extensions which are going to make looking for property online a lot more efficient. These are Property Tracker for Chrome and Property Bee for Firefox.
HMOs are different to standard buy to let properties in that regulations regarding fire safety can be more complicated and are often more expensive to implement. There are good reasons for this. For example in an HMO there are going to be more internal locks than in a family home and the tenants might not even speak to each other that often. But don’t worry. Fire regulations tend to be nothing more than common sense and your local HMO enforcement officer is there to help.
A question that comes up a lot with regard to furnishing houses of multiple occupation for professional tenants is whether or not to include a TV. We feel that providing a TV for the lounge is necessary, if only to encourage your tenants to mingle. Providing TVs for the bedrooms is expensive and typically unnecessary as most tenants will have their own and if not then they’ll have laptops or tablets they can use.
In order for you and your contractors to stay organised during the your HMO refurbishment project you are going to want to draw up 4 key documents or checklists. The first is a schedule of works so that you know when renovation work is going to happening. The second is a complete furniture checklist so you know exactly what you need for each room. The third is a full project schedule or diary and finally you’ll want a room plan to which to refer. Remember, detail can be easy to forget so you need to stay organised
When it comes to HMOs you need to think about your preferred tenant profile early in the process. There are plenty of different types of tenants to consider. Whether it’s professional, student, local housing allowance or social housing tenants each comes with their pros and their cons that you are going to want to weigh up in your strategy.
In the world of HMO investors today’s topic can be somewhat controversial. It’s the question of communal spaces and whether or not you should include a communal lounge in your properties. It is obvious that converting an existing lounge into an extra bedroom is going to increase your potential yield. But, in our opinion, by doing this you are incurring a hidden long term cost and loosing control over the tenant profile that your property is going to attract.
When it comes to designing the space in your HMO you should be putting the needs of your tenants first. You don’t want them falling out over access to facilities. The ideal arrangement is 1 bathroom to every 3 tenants but this is not always possible. Health and safety regulations typically allow for a ration of 1 to 4. If in doubt as to how many bathrooms you need in your HMO we advise speaking with the local HMO officer to discuss the property.
It’s a question of balance. When we’re looking at HMO property we are always on the lookout for houses of between four and six bedrooms. Of course how many bedrooms you should be looking for depends on your strategy. HMOs provide great rental yields and of course the more bedrooms you have the greater the rental yield. Too few rooms and you might not be able to cover the costs but too many, in the wrong location, and the property may prove be difficult to manage or fill.
If you’re thinking about converting a property into an HMO you’re going to have to think hard about layout. Today we’re going to be looking at the installation of en suite bathrooms and more specifically at whether or not it is worth sacrificing some of that precious bedroom space to have them included in your HMO design.
Everybody knows that houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) can give you a fantastic return on investment. This of course is true. HMOs give great rental yields and are cash flowing in a way that can’t be matched by other buy to lets. But, you’d be wrong in thinking that every HMO is a gold mine. Here we look at 5 critical mistakes that investors tend to make with this type of property and look at how you can make more money with multiple occupancy housing.