HMO Conversions Bristol

If you’re looking to add value to your property investment portfolio, an HMO (house in multiple occupation) conversion could be just the ticket.

At Bristol Group Services, we have the skills and expertise to help you add value to your properties by converting them from a single family home, to an HMO. If you’d like more information about converting an HMO property in Bristol, get in touch today and let us help make your HMO conversion a reality.

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How to do HMO Conversions that Make Your Property Portfolio Shine

An HMO conversion (House in Multiple Occupation conversion) is the perfect solution for a range of situations:

  • Using excess space for an additional income such as a garage or spare room
  • Creating comfortable areas for large families to live together
  • Create additional income from a property investment

But along with all these benefits you’ll be faced with quite a few challenges. Don’t be concerned. We put together a comprehensive list to help you navigate through the obstacles. Your HMO conversion can leave you smiling if you do it right.

What Will You Use it For?

First off let’s clarify your reason for the project. And are you creating an HMO or perhaps you’re converting an HMO back to single occupancy home. For the latter, some of the aspects below will still apply although you’ll probably do them in reverse.

You may have fewer HMO requirements if the project is only to house your own family. You’ll consider the same aspects such as creating comfortable spaces for everyone. However, if you’re not going to charge rent, some regulations won’t apply.

But hold on: What if you or the person who one day purchases the building wants to use it as rented housing in the future? Instead of requiring an additional conversion project why not do it right from the very start?

So whether you’re doing this as a future landlord or the patriarch of your family keep these tips in mind.

Tips for Landlords

If you’re already set on becoming the landlord of multiple occupancy homes I want to give you a few pointers. Abiding by these will prevent you from running into trouble with the law or tenants:

  • It’s your right who you allow to rent from you and being picky is an excellent long-term strategy. References will tell you if the tenants will damage your property and it’s also wise to ask about their plans. You want long-term tenants, so you don’t have to look for new ones all the time. If your tenants admit, they only want accommodation for a short period it’s a valid reason to rather accept someone else.
  • For the times you may have no tenants you should budget by keeping two months’ worth of rent aside at all times. This will help cover possible expenses.
  • Local legislation will cover a range of aspects you can’t ignore, so contact them to ensure you’re within the boundaries of the law regarding:
    • Sizes of rooms
    • Safety features such as emergency lighting and fire doors
    • There will be a minimum number of bathroom amenities required for the number of people you’re housing
    • Large HMO conversions could require specific plans to be drawn up before you can commence

If you’re still sure you want to convert family home into a HMO, let’s get you started.

Important Guidelines for HMO Conversions

Keep it Legal

We already mentioned how important it is to discuss your plans with local authorities. You don’t want your project shut down because someone reported you.

But why would your neighbours or the authorities not be supportive of your plan? Perhaps understanding the possible outcome of such a project will help you understand their perspective:

  • Local government must always ensure there are enough housing options for single families; they can’t allow all buildings to become houses of multiple occupancy.
  • Your project may draw more cars to the area. If there is limited parking already your neighbours may complain.
  • Depending on who you rent to it could affect the neighbourhood:
    • Crime can increase if you rent to the wrong people
    • Noise will bother if you house young people who are a bit boisterous at night
    • A neighbourhood’s character may change and this can either draw residents or make it a less coveted area.

You didn’t realise employing an HMO conversion company can lead to all these outcomes, right? Perhaps it’s smart to discuss it with the locals, and when everyone’s satisfied, you can continue.

And then you need to keep the following in mind.

Did You Speak to Your Insurance Provider Yet?

So now your neighbours will be happy when they see the HMO conversion contractor arrive, but did you discuss it with your insurance company?

Do you know that many insurance companies don’t offer great cover—or any cover—for an HMO? This is because of the great risk associated with housing individuals the insurance company can’t vet beforehand.

You may find solutions through a broker but be prepared to pay a bit more, and therefore this will impact your budget.

So you’re still up for this? Let’s look at the next hurdle.

Are You Sure You Thought of All Possible Amenities?

A conversion’s most important part is the planning. You can’t simply add a few walls to your home and accept it will suffice. And if you convert commercial property into an HMO, you’ll have even more work to make it appropriate.

You need to think long term. Will you sign a rental contract for a place if you doubt whether you’ll live there comfortably? So make it easy for tenants to sign your contracts by giving them quality options:

  • Large rooms.
  • Enough space in communal areas.
  • Is there an area to receive guests? This is essential if units only have bedrooms and no living rooms.

Here you’re moving past legal requirements. You need to investigate what modern tenants want. And what is the type of occupant you hope to attract? Will the appliances, space and amenities you offer be relevant to that niche?

Quality not Quantity

When you decided what you’re going to prepare for the tenants, you’ll go shopping. Of course, you want to save money but don’t be tempted to purchase the least expensive items. Replacing them in a few months or years will cost more than simply making a good investment in quality objects now.

Are you ready to start your HMO conversion project?

Bristol Group Services can assist clients across the South West including Bristol, Bath, Wells, Glastonbury, Frome, Trowbridge, Shepton Mallet and beyond. If you’re ready to turbocharge your property portfolio and would like to learn more about our HMO conversion services, request a quote by clicking the button below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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