Eager to convert your standard buy-to-let (BTL) into a more profitable House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)? Fortunately, the team of property experts at The Mistoria Group has years of invaluable experience helping HMO landlords to let, manage, and increase the profitability of their properties.

Below, we explore HMO requirements for a conversion (such as planning permission) and how an HMO conversion can offer increased revenue and many other benefits for landlords.

What Are The Advantages of a HMO Conversion?

An HMO is simply a House of Multiple Occupation which means the property is home to several separate households. To be considered an HMO, it should be home to at least three tenants and the toilet, bathroom, or kitchen facilities should be shared.

An HMO conversion can have many advantages – especially if the property is in the right location and is renovated to a good specification. Not only can HMO housing be more efficient, but they can also increase your revenue as they tend to have significantly higher rental yields than standard BTL properties.

HMO Rules and Requirements

While the rules and regulations of HMOs are always changing, they are significantly stricter and more complex than standard BTL properties. HMOs have additional fire safety regulations regarding fire escape routes and smoke alarm installation to ensure every member of the household is adequately protected.

HMO-specific rules and regulations also include obtaining an HMO licence (if necessary). Often, HMO landlords will need to check whether they need a licence, but generally ‘large HMOs’ will require a licence. Your HMO will be considered ‘large’ if it’s home to five or more occupants who form more than one household.

They must also share the toilet, bathroom, or kitchen, and a minimum of one tenant is paying the rent or the employer is paying rent on their behalf. Adequate space, amenities, and management are also key HMO requirements that both aspiring and existing HMO landlords should be aware of.

Do you need planning permission to convert a house into an HMO?

In most cases, you won’t need to apply for planning permission for your UK HMO conversion. England legislation includes a General Permitted Development Order (GDPO) which allows homeowners to convert a typical family home into an HMO for up to six people.

However, this is subject to a list of limits and conditions, so it’s well worth exploring these exceptions before making the blanket assumption that every HMO conversion is above board.

While planning consent for an HMO is not normally required, you will need to seek consent if the property is located within an Article 4 Direction area. This article allows local planning authorities to have greater control over the changes owners can make to the outside of their property without obtaining planning permission first.

HMO renovation tips

In a shared household, it’s important to capitalise on all space – including outside space. With an open and welcoming outdoor area featuring chairs, a barbecue space, and low-maintenance garden, your HMO is more likely to appeal to modern tenants.

Due to the target demographic for HMOs being students and young professionals, it’s unlikely that they will have big pieces of furniture like beds and sofas to move in with them. You can therefore make your HMO instantly more appealing by investing in comfortable and reliable furnishings for both the bedrooms and communal areas.

These shared areas are essential for HMO tenants. With a high-quality finish, modern appliances, and the right finishing touches, you can create a welcoming communal space for socialising. A full kitchen redesign can help you to find tenants faster and add heaps of value to the property by creating a more functional layout.

If possible, adding an extension is a great way to renovate your HMO and add value. Whether you can extend into the loft, basement, or another under-utilised area, this could create another bedroom, allowing you to accommodate another tenant.

Get in touch today

Specialising in high-yielding student and professional accommodation, we can support you with an HMO conversion or any other area of property investment including armchair investment, joint venture investment, and merchant investment.

To find out more about our services and the benefits of investing in HMO housing, please feel free to call us on 0800 500 3015, email your enquiry to info@mistoriagroup.com. Alternatively, you can also get in touch by filling in and submitting our online contact form. Once we’ve received your enquiry, rest assured we’ll be in touch shortly to learn more about your HMO requirements.