In the intricate world of real estate, where profit margins dance on a razor’s edge, homeowners seeking to increase their rental income often find themselves presented with a perplexing choice: a House in Multiple Occupation, commonly known as an HMO. What is an HMO?
HMO properties are houses rented out to three or more tenants who share basic facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom. The enigma within these properties promises greater returns than traditional to-let apartments, albeit an intricate web of challenges accompanies it.
You’ll have to deal with higher maintenance costs, stricter regulatory oversight, and more demanding tenants. This buttresses the importance of designing your HMO in such a way that it attracts quality tenants and maximises your investment. How exactly do you go about that? Here are some guiding tips.
Tips for Designing a Tenant-Attracting HMO
Choose the right location:
Perhaps the most crucial factor influencing the value of any real estate property is its location; this is even more so in the case of HMOs, as these buildings have a specific market demographic they cater to.
Ideally, choosing an area with high demand for shared accommodation, such as college towns, tech hubs, or populated urban centres with expensive housing, would be best.
However, location alone does not woo tenants; you also want to consider nearby facilities that can make your HMO more appealing to potential tenants, such as shopping centres, parks, gyms and entertainment venues.
Know your target market:
Before you start designing your HMO, you need a clear idea of your ideal tenants and what they want in a shared home.
For example, students, being knowledge seekers, yearn for spacious abodes where they can study without disturbance. Therefore, if you intend your HMO for students, consider providing spacious bedrooms with desks, ample storage space, fast internet connection, and communal areas for socialising and studying.
However, if your target market is young professionals, the recipe changes as amenities such as en-suite bathrooms, smart appliances, and ample parking space cast the enchantment.
One of the main conundrums when designing an HMO is how to make the most of available dwellings, as spaces must be tailored, like a bespoke suit, for each tenant’s unique needs.
On one hand, you want to avoid overcrowding and ensure each tenant has enough personal space. Conversely, you want to foster community by providing enough shared facilities and communal living areas.
To navigate this labyrinth, an HMO architect can help you find the perfect equilibrium by designing rooms for solitude and communal areas for shared merriment.
Add value and appeal:
In a world of fierce competition, every HMO must bear a unique signature, as this extra pinch of magic sets your creation apart from the rest. However, take special care not to forego functionality for attractiveness, as this is also a necessary selling point. Some examples of value-added features you can add to your HMO include:
High-quality fixtures to enhance the look and feel of your HMO
Energy-efficient appliances to limit tenant utility bills
Security measures such as locks, alarms, cameras or intercoms to make tenants feel safe and secure
Designing a tenant-attracting HMO that brings high returns on investment is challenging, but it is achievable if executed correctly. By following these tips, you too can create a shared home that meets the needs and preferences of your target market.