Blog

HMO Property

There’s no place like home

We develop & create beautiful HMO & Co Living accommodation in the North East of England.

Our market is for young professionals, workers, NHS staff, graduates, young workers saving for their first homes or staff working in city businesses, contractors on assignments and industry workers on project placements.

We work with many businesses, recruitment agencies and industries over the city to help provide their staff with fantastic all-inclusive accommodation.

Our main goal is to provide an excellent service to our tenants.  All rooms are within safe and secure accommodation.  Decorated and furnished to a high standard.  We have our own cleaning team, maintenance and fire safety officer to ensure we deliver living spaces of a high standard.

We do not provide accommodation that we wouldn’t live in ourselves.  If we are offered below-standard houses, we will provide the landlord information on how to improve the accommodation to the level expected by our tenants.

As well as choosing thoroughly vetted tenants for our accommodation we also match tenants to the existing housemates.  This works wonderfully and creates opportunities for tenants to socialise and live in a comfortable community feel.  We use ‘group chat’ for each house so our new tenants can join and be welcomed into the house. We find this helps with the initial move and settling-in process.

We are not just an HMO agent, we put a lot of care into our work to ensure we provide a brilliant all-round service to all our customers: tenants, landlords and investors.

Vikki Bond – Owner of Rooms 2 Let Sunderland

Interior Design HMO

This might ruffle some feathers !

The past 3 years HMO properties have become a bit of — who can design and show off the best HMO property on instagram trend.

HMO owners are going for interior designers, latest trends .

Specialist HMO design teams are popping up in their masses.

Which is not a bad thing .

There are some fantastic designed properties that look fantastic and also operate well because they have been well thought of.

In the way they have been thought about from the customers point and not to produce a product for the – look at my HMO property pictures project book.

Just remember above all else

  1. Remember some of these fancy designers have a businesses that rely on you giving them more business . They are not going to help produce the HMO product that is going to be decorated to hard wearing – long lasting product. Which is what you need if you want the HMO to produce you income.
  2. Do you want to be refurbishing – re decorating your HMO every 12 months
  3. A HMO property should be durable and able to cope with the turn around of tenants . Tenants in HMOs can stay from 3 months to 3 years as standard. ( I have had longer term tenancies but this is the average.
  4. I have HMOs that have welcomed hundreds of tenants and they have been super strong, hard wearing HMOs. Then i have taken on HMOs that have fell to bits in the first 4 months because they havent been well thought out by the design team.
  5. As much as the HMO that looks like its been designed by Laurence Llewelyn Bowen looks beautiful and initially may bring in good rents to your bank account . It wont last! its not kitted out for turn around’s and high use. So what ends up is a tired , out dated fashion room. ( bit like a fashion dress – say in latest print – 6 months later the new trends come out, what do you think of that beautiful dress now? its had its day yeah – sick of seeing it )
  6. It only takes some common sense when creating a property- rooms. Will a Matt white property with carpets throughout the whole property work for a HMO? Will fancy floral paper work in toilet rooms work? i can only see the paper peeling and wearing or becoming outdated as quick as it was put up on the walls . Never mind hygienic.
  7. High walked areas should be hard wearing – easy clean flooring . Once cleaned is brand new, fresh, clean.
  8. En suites walls – cladding is good. Its easy cleaned from top to bottom and brand new again. Tiles can be good , but often the grout wears in time. – Wallpaper is not good at any time. Peeling , pee stained, outdated.
  9. Colour’s – go for up to date colour’s – nothing too outrageous to the eye. remember this is someones home and not a fashion project. The person has been working long shifts. They want to come home to tranquil space that’s not too much for the brain.
  10. Go for black out blinds – curtains on the windows- comfortable mattress- storage space. Useful furniture selling points that will give comfort. The customer will not need to look for new accommodation 6 months down the line when the latest decor is not welcoming any more.

Buying single let property

We provide homes to all so have a good portfolio of single let homes.

We have a impressive portfolio of houses that are always in demand.

Tenants stay long term and when we do re list them we either have a waiting list or are inundated with new applications.

This is because the products have been carefully selected and researched and put together for the modern needs of the tenant.

We can help you search for the perfect high demand properties in the North East

Guide to HMO Properties

I receive numerous calls each week from investors or landlords looking to get into the HMO market .

There are a lot of properties on the market at the moment.

This is because the HMO market is changing (it has been for a while, but people didn’t realise and are only waking up to notice it now)

The need for affordable living is greater now than ever before.

House shares give people the ability to live and still have income to enjoy themselves or save up for their future.

Without house share’s many workers would just live hand to mouth.

Many cities now have purpose built student accommodation, making more HMO property available to the market.

Old redundant student HMO accommodation just needs a facelift and bringing into 2021

My customers consist of young professionals, workers, contractors, NHS staff and mature students.

HMO properties must fit to their needs

If you need help finding the perfect properties , please do not hesitate to contact me

When is a Property a HMO

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

If you want to rent out your property as a house in multiple occupation in England or Wales you must contact your council to check if they have any restrictions or specific requirements and find out if you need a licence.

You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all the following conditions apply:

  • it is rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
  • at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them)

Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the specific area so you should always check with your local council first.

You can check this online using the postcode

Restrictions

The licence fees vary as they are set individually by each local authority. 

A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

Future Proof your Property

When was the last time you updated your HMO property.

If you are seeking to let a property to working professionals, young workers then your HMO must be to good standard.

Young workers that have been at work all day or doing long shifts want to come home to nice accommodation. They want their comforts as well as their basic needs.

Back in the day, HMOs generally had plain Magnolia painted rooms with mis-matched second-hand furniture.  Party houses.  A lot has changed in 20 years.

Today a good HMO property should have the following

  1. Comfortable double bed – hard wearing – decent mattress
  2. Smart TV
  3. Matching – hard wearing and comfortable furniture
  4. Storage solutions
  5. Desk – for work – study
  6. En suites (Preferred)
  7. Black out blinds
  8. USB sockets
  9. Smart lights
  10. Fast and reliable broadband is essential

Book an assessment of your property today

Safety & Security

Providing safe and secure HMO properties is our main objective.  Therefore, we have highly trained property management team members for maintenance, fire safety and cleaning.  Everyone works together to provide a great service to tenants.

In addition, we have CCTV monitoring at properties. #01 Video monitor door bells, secure entrance – exit doors all with fire safety thumb-turn locks for quick escape in the event of an emergency.

Book a property assessment today to see what security you can add to your property to offer excellent secure properties.

Fire Safety in HMO Properties

If your property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which is subject to licensing, you must also comply with licence conditions in relation to fire safety. The mandatory conditions include a requirement that the landlord installs smoke alarms, keeps them in proper working order, and gives a declaration to the local authority, on request, of their safe condition.

Our fire safety officer can assess your property and provide details of the correct alarm system for the HMO property.  Systems include emergency lighting, smoke detectors and heat sensors.  Our fire safety officer is also qualified to test systems and provide certificates every 12 months to comply with licensing requirementsThe safety officer can also provide adequate fire-fighting equipment. 

Property managers are fully competent to test alarm panels each week, carry out weekly visits checking all communal areas, the Fire panels, fire equipment and sensors.  Inspections of all communal hallway and stairways to ensure no items are blocking escape routes.  They also undertake regular briefings to educate tenants on aspects of Fire Safety. I.e. How to prevent fires, what to do in the event of fire.

Additional items to consider

  • Always make sure that all the gas appliances provided are maintained in good order and that a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer carries out a safety check each year.
  • Maintain all electrical installations (ie fixed wiring) and any portable electrical appliances provides (i.e. microwave cookers, kettles, toasters), and make sure they are safe to use.
  • Make sure any furniture and furnishings they provide meet the fire resistance regulations.

All furniture and furnishings in the HMO property must meet the Fire standards for Furnishings. It’s the property managers responsibility to ensure tenants do not bring non-compliant furniture into the property.  Our Fire Safety Officer also arranges PAT (Portable Appliance Tests) on appliances to ensure they are safe.

Fire safety should be considered for all types of properties not just HMO properties.  Even if you plan to let a property as a HMO which does not require a licence, I always recommend factoring in a good fire alarm system, emergency lights and fire-doors and provide Fire blankets in the kitchens as minimum.

The HMO property may not require a licence at this point in time, however standards are steadily improving and this may mean that the HMO could be included within the licencing requirements in the future. When refurbishing properties now, think ahead and plan for the future.

Future proofing properties is the key to success

If you would like your HMO property to be assessed or have a property you are considering turning to an HMO please do not hesitate to contact me