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HMO - Idoits guide please


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Further to my previous post, and recommendations to get into HMO, please could the great and the good of the board give me an idiots guide into this.

Not only the legal side of it (what MUST I do/get from a legal pov) but also the sort of things that are expected/wanted nowadays from multiple occupancy tenants (I see free broadband around?). And also any tips/hints as to the best types of properties that work on multiple occupancy.

Thanks in advance from a newbie to all this (sorry of this has been covered before)

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If the house is already networked up then I guess free broadband might be an added incentive, but I would consider it an uncommon luxury! It could also prove unnecessary as I expect many tennants would prefer to manage their own requirements. I'm not sure whether you mean broadband to cover TV and phone also, but if not, nowadays most folk tend to go for bundled packages - it's cheaper, convenient and would negate the need for separate internet. I think just having handy network sockets throughout is nice enough.

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Hi Mark,

It's best to download a huge document from the relevant council, as their requirements seem to differ slightly from counil to council, plus it is very comprehensive and impossible to summarise in a few sentances :-)

As far as the practical side, I can give you an idiots guide:

First thing is that a house of 3 strories with 5 or more tenants will be licensible. It costs about 600 pounds but depends on you council and lasts 5 years.

If the property is only 2 stories, you can have 6 people and it wouldn't be licencible, though some councils still require you to register to check it is up to their standards.

When looking for a property, try and get as many rooms out of it as possible. This may involve adding a conservatory for cummunal space and adding an understairs shower & toilet room. Adding a conservatory can be done for a few grand if you can do it yourself or about 4 grand to pay someone to do it (12ft by 12ft conservatory).

Some properties lend themselves to change without doing anything structural - these are the ones to go for.

Big rooms are a waste, in my area a 20 ft by 10 ft room will probably rent for 400 per month, whereas I can divide that in 2 and rent each one for 350 each = 300 pounds extra per month.

You can easily turn a 3 bed place into a 5 or 6 bed by adding a conservatory and converting/dividing the receptions into bedrooms.

If you don't have the energy for this, 3 bed places with 2 receptions can easily be let out as 4 rooms without any hassle and still give a reasonable return.

The properties which will give you the best returns are usually council properties with very small gardens, since families do not want these.

If you're not sure about an area's letting potential put an ad in Gumtree, spareroom.com or easyroomate.com and see how many hits you get. If you get loads, your on to a winner.

When you have bought the property search on google for a spare room to rent etc. Whichever sites come up on the first page, this is where you need to advertise. You'll be surprised how many people are looking for a room!

I disagree with Paul, I offer wireless broadband at all my properties, they expect it. It only costs 20 pounds per month with Virgin and no phoneline is required.

Any other questions please give me a shout,



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First thing is that a house of 3 strories with 5 or more tenants will be licensible. It costs about 600 pounds but depends on you council and lasts 5 years.

This is JUST the license itself ....electric tickets, smoke alarms fire alarm system fire extinquishers ..blankets fire doors 30min rated ceilings and walls thumb locks on all doors, and a whole lot more besides if house is not up to spec !!!!!!

I offer wireless broadband at all my properties, they expect it.

This will give you you only one connection ...with a router ...which generally is not fast enough for the youth of today ...because it only takes one person to start down loading films or big chunks of music or online gaming and the whole system slows right up !!!!

Not disagreeing with you in any way Mat just thought i would chuck my thoughts in !!!!!

Having a late night in work ...just got my Vat rtn in ..now i is agoing home to bed ...!


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Hi Simon,

Wow what a late night!

Yes 600 pounds just for the Licence, there is a whole heap of costs out there, on mine I need to add another bathroom by the time 4 years are up.

Doesn't bother me too much, as will make it easier to rent 5 rooms with 2 bathrooms.

As long as the flat roof I want to extend onto is strong enough already won't cost too much either, but of course is subject to planning approval.

I know what you are saying, with the wireless BB, if all 5 are on it at once it will slow it down. But what is the alternative? They all get their own deals, but even so if they all go through BT for example, will it not still be a problem?

Or do they all get BT line installed, so there are 5 seperate BT lines in the house. I'm not keen on that idea and also not sure they would be keen to pay the 150 pound installation charge.


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  • 4 weeks later...

No biggy, but is it really that big an incentive? For reasons mentioned above, plus why get involved with any sort of bills, just seems unnecessary - Let them sort it out themselves, if they're sensible it wouldn't come to 5 separate lines, especially if the house is nicely networked up. It's generous of you, and the odd casual user might appreciate it, but I wouldn't expect free BB myself. Why not save yourself a few quid! :) But if you're going to offer free BB swerve BT if poss and go for cable, and advertise the fact, it's loads faster and is much more feasible for sharing!

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