A HMO is a House of Multiple Occupancy, a property in which three or more people who aren’t related live together and share facilities like bathrooms and kitchens. HMOs are a brilliant way to generate more revenue from your property and they appeal to many different types of people from students to professionals. If you get the right property, renovate it well and market it correctly then you stand to make so much more money from a HMO than a regular rental. However, buying, renovating and renting out a HMO takes a lot of hard work and requires some knowledge.
Nick Fox is an HMO expert and has authored several books on the subject which are a mere reflection on his massively successful property portfolio.
Here are some things to think about before you invest in a HMO:
To rent out a property as a HMO you must obtain a license if all of the following apply; it is rented to 5 or more people who form one household, it is at least 3 storeys high, the tenants share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. In some areas you may still need a license even for a smaller shared rental so you must always check with your council. Licenses are valid for 5 years and as a landlord you must get a license for each HMO you have that fits the criteria.
When you buy a property that isn’t already converted to be used as a HMO you may find that you need planning permission to make the alterations. Converting an ordinary property to let to no more than six people doesn’t usually require planning permission but it is always best to check with the planning office before making a purchase. HMOs for more than six people always require planning permission.
Finance & Mortgage
Borrowing money to convert a property in need of renovation can be difficult. Some lenders offer specialised refurbishment loans which are given in stages. A bridging loan may also be used to convert a property into a HMO. To purchase a HMO you may need to look for a specialised lender, this is particularly applicable if your HMO requires a license. There are a number of HMO specialist mortgage brokers will be able to find you the best deals available but most HMO mortgages do require a larger deposit and can be more costly than ordinary rates.
You must comply with all of the laws and regulations that apply to landlord/tenant situations. You must check that each person living in the property has a right to remain in the UK, you must ensure the property meets all safety regulations and is regularly inspected. You must keep the communal areas in a good condition and make sure that the property complies with all HMO fire regulations e.g. alarm on every level and fire exits kept accessible.
Many people embark on their HMO property investment journey with information from the internet and a good idea. Whilst this can work out you are certain to see a bigger return on your money sooner if you seek professional advice. Nick Fox has built up his large successful portfolio over years and is an expert on HMOs from buying and renovating them to dressing and letting them. We offer a variety of mentoring packages, personal consultations and private property sourcing experiences which will all add value to your HMO journey and see you making more money faster. Do seek professional advice before you purchase a HMO.
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