Are you planning on alterations to your home? Perhaps something as complex as a new conservatory or as simple as secondary glazing? It might be necessary to get planning permission. This guide gives a summary of how the process works.
An HMO, which stands for a House in Multiple Occupation, is a type of property rented by 3 or more tenants that are not a family. Today a number of landlords allow HMOs, as it is considered a method to run their rental portfolios more efficiently. In some cases, it has to do with collecting rental from multiple tenants, although the property type and location are also important factors in these decisions. Certain renters may choose to reside in an HMO when the monthly payments are cheaper or they may enjoy living with other people. The house shares are more popular with students and younger renters. Yet as the numbers continue to increase, HMOs have become a highly viable option when it comes to various landlords. If you are interested in converting property that you own into an HMO, there are various steps involved in the process which an architectural designer should be able to explain. This includes meeting up to specific legal requirements onto ensuring that the home is habitable for multiple people.
Before You BeginMost of the HMOs will require that you obtain an HMO license. If the property is rented out to 5 or more people that are not from the same household (family), is a minimum of 3 storeys in height and the renters share kitchen facilities, bathrooms, and toilets, you will need to obtain a license. If only a few of these criteria is applicable, you might still require this license which is why it is important to first check with the authority in your local area. The HMO license is only valid for a period of 5 years and you are required to obtain a new license for every HMO that you run. To comply with these stipulations, you will need to send a gas-safety certificate that is valid to your council every year. You will also need smoke alarms installed along with safety certificates for the electrical appliances need to be made available when requested. Dependent on the amount of work that is required on your property in order to convert the building, you might also need specific planning permissions which will allow you to make various changes. When you carry out these activity types, make sure you maintain records pertaining to any applications, correspondence, along with approvals to make sure you always stay covered.
Practicalities Involved in Converting Your PropertyTo begin with, you need to think about what the tenants will need as well as space they will need. Other important considerations include what type of furniture you are willing to provide along with any appliances. Within a period of 5 years of converting your property into an HMO, every rental property will receive a visit from the council. They will carry out the Housing Health and Safety Rating System risk assessment. If they find any risks classified as unacceptable in this assessment, they have to be addressed. It is common that you may convert the use associated with specific rooms. An example of this may include converting a spare room into an extra bathroom or a reception room into another bedroom. You might need to construct or move walls to alter the size of a room, which are important aspects that require careful planning before you carry them out. It is also important to use the services of a professional when you work on the more important parts of your conversion. Certain landlords convert a garage to add more space. This conversion usually necessitates planning permissions, which makes it important to first check with the local authorities in your area. The conversions of a reception room may appear essential, yet the decision is not always appropriate. In the ideal scenario, your property has more than one reception room. This would mean that you could convert one of these rooms and then leave the other receptions rooms as living spaces or a dining room. Many tenants might not consider a property that does not feature a reception space or living room, which is something that you should be thinking about carefully.
Other ConsiderationsA key difference between standard rental properties and HMOs is the potential to encounter a turnover rate of tenants that is higher. For this reason, it is recommended that you have saved up a minimum of 2 months of the rental cost in order to cover a potential void period. The decision to convert your property that you rent out into an HMO may turn out to be an investment that is effective, yet will require more upkeep and work.
When a single property is rented to three or more tenants who don’t form a single household, the arrangement is referred to as a house in multiple occupation, or HMO. There is a range of potential advantages that make HMO operations appealing to landlords. Property type and location play significant roles, and in the right circumstances, HMOs offer increased efficiency due to the greater number of tenants they serve. Many renters consider the key facets of HMO properties — including cheaper monthly payments and the communal nature of the arrangement — to be desirable advantages. These are some of the reasons why house-shares are particularly appealing to students and younger tenants. Landlords often appreciate the increased duration of tenancy that tends to come with a house-share arrangement. If you have a property that you’d like to turn into an HMO, there are a range of tasks to complete. Some are purely practical — such as sourcing a professional locksmith and making the property suitable for the desired number of tenants — and some are legal obligations.
First ConsiderationsMost properties let as HMOs require an HMO licence. A licence is absolutely necessary if the property is three-storeys high or more, let to five or more tenants, and offers shared kitchen, bathroom, or toilet facilities. If your property meets some of the criteria described above but not all of them, you may still need an HMO licence. The best practice is to check your local authority’s policies carefully. Each HMO property you operate will require a separate licence; HMO licences need to be renewed at five-year intervals. To comply with your legal obligations, you need to send a gas safety certificate to the council on an annual basis. The property needs to have smoke alarms installed, and you need to be prepared to present safety certificates for all the property’s electrical appliances on demand. If the property requires significant work to prepare it for its new role, you may need to seek planning permission as well. You’ll find it extremely useful to make a habit of keeping comprehensive records as early as possible in the process. Keep copies of all correspondence, applications, and approvals related to the property together.
Property Conversion IssuesThe number of tenants you plan to house and their needs should guide the changes you make when preparing a property for HMO use. You have to decide how much to provide in the way of appliances and furniture. Be aware that the council will inspect your HMO property after it’s licenced to conduct a risk assessment according to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Any improprieties discovered in this assessment have to be addressed quickly. In an HMO conversion, it’s very common to repurpose individual rooms. Spare rooms may become bathrooms, and reception rooms might become bedrooms. Sometimes, you’ll find it necessary to change the size and shape of rooms by building, moving, or removing walls. A conversion that requires significant work is always best completed by professional builders. It may cost more, but the results are more trustworthy and long-lasting. If you decide to create more rentable space by modifying your property’s garage, be aware that such a change often requires planning permission. Consider how you’re going to treat your property’s reception rooms carefully. The temptation to convert every feasible space into another bedroom can be powerful. Many tenants will be put off by an HMO property which lacks any sort of communal space, though. You’ll need to balance the total occupant capacity against the level of comfort you offer your tenants.
Additional ConsiderationsThe process of running an HMO is distinctly different from standard rental property management. It is possible – depending on the trends in your region – that your HMO property will experience high tenant turnover. Most landlords find it helpful to set aside a reserve equivalent to at least two months of the property’s rental income to cover any potential void periods in the year. You should also be prepared to make trade-offs in operating an HMO. It’s often a way to unlock higher rental income, but conversely, it can also require more upkeep and effort.
A house that is rented to three or more tenants who are not part of the same household is a house in multiple occupation or HMO. Landlords tend to believe that this is one of the best ways to run a rental portfolio as it is possible to collect rent from a larger number of people as opposed to one singular family; however, one must consider the area and property type. As a renter, an HMO allows for a cheaper rent as well as the ability to live with other people. HMOs are typically more attractive for younger renters and students and the demand for HMOs has made many landlords jump into action. If you believe you have the opportunity to convert a property into an HMO, there are a number of steps you will need to fulfil in order to ensure you are able to meet the legal requirements to rent to multiple individuals.
Initial StepsMany HMOs are going to be in need of an HMO license. If you plan to rent to five or more tenants, have a structure that is at least three stories tall, and the tenants will share kitchen, bathroom, and toilets, you will most definitely require a license. You may need to produce property floor plans UK to show this. If just some of these criteria apply to your unit, you may not need one, but it is always wise to check with your local authorities. An HMO license is going to be valid for five years and you will require an individual one for each property. To comply with local regulation, you will need a valid gas safety certificate that is to be sent to council each year, installed smoke alarms, as well as safety certificates for all of the electrical appliances available on request. Depending upon what work needs to be done to renovate the building into an HMO, you may need planning permission before you begin any changes. While you are making all of these changes, it is always wise to keep a record of all the applications, correspondence, and approvals to ensure you are covered in any future event.
The Reality of Converting a PropertyOne of the first tasks is to decide on the needs of your tenants and how much space they will need. Consider what you are going to furnish in terms of appliances and furniture as well. Keep in mind that five years after converting the property to an HMO the council will visit and conduct a Housing Health and Safety Rating System risk assessment. If the council finds any unacceptable risks in the HMO, they will need to be addressed immediately. During the process, you may find it easier to convert some rooms. You may choose to convert spare rooms into bathrooms, while reception rooms can be changed into additional bedrooms. In addition, you may find the need that walls need to be constructed to alter the size of rooms, but this is something you will discover early on. During this process, it is best to use a professional to ensure that the language is correct. In addition, it is always possible to convert a garage into extra space for a tenant. These types of conversions often require planning permission, so be sure to check with your local authority. Usually you will need to convert a reception room, but it may not always be the right decision. Typically, a property will have two reception rooms, one of which can be converted while the other remains as either a living or dining room space. Many times, tenants will be put off when a property has no living or reception area, so try to consider keeping one.
What Else Needs Consideration?One of the main differences between a traditional rental and an HMO is the fact that there is going to be a much higher turnover of tenants. It is best practice to always put aside at least two month’s rent every year. Converting rental properties into HMOs can be a sound investment – however, they do require more initial time and money.
There are big kitchens and there are small kitchens but, regardless of size, all kitchens have the potential to be amazing spaces. An amazing kitchen must have a proper layout that is mindful of its size. The ‘work triangle’ — the path between food storage, cleaning and cooking areas — must promote efficiency and productivity in this space. Nowadays, there are so many different types of layouts for a wide range of kitchen spaces. Zen Stone, a stone supplier in Surrey can help your ideas come to life. Here is a look at some of the best solutions available for different types of kitchens.
Large KitchensIt’s easy to assume that the larger a kitchen is the easier it is to design because there is extra space to work with, but this isn’t always true. An ideal layout is one that strikes a balance between functionality and aesthetics. You need to establish your style preferences and capacity requirements for your kitchen in order to come up with an ideal layout. You don’t want to implement a layout that will make your kitchen too cavernous or too cluttered.
U-ShapeIf you are lucky enough to have a fairly large kitchen, you can consider installing an island in the central section of your kitchen surrounded by a U-shape cabinet. An island is a multipurpose surface that can be used for different tasks and activities ranging from food preparation, hosting social gatherings, kids doing homework and many others. Cabinets that run across three walls can provide you with plenty of storage space which you can use to keep appliances and foodstuffs out of sight.
G-ShapeWhen cabinets are designed to surround the entire room, the remaining workspace may form a shape similar to the letter ‘G’. This is a perfect layout if you want to enjoy the functionality of an island while still having a single continuous space to work on. This layout increases the space allocation for cabinets and is very popular in traditional kitchens that have separate dining rooms. The end section of the ‘G’ can be used as a homework zone, snack area or breakfast bar for big families.
L-ShapeThe L-Shape layout is more open and works great for flexible dining and living. The cabinet configuration in this layout allows lounge and dining areas to be incorporated into the kitchen space. The layout creates a lot of free space in the kitchen, so it’s perfect for families with multiple cooks or with a lot of people who hang out in the kitchen.
Small RoomsIf you don’t have a lot of space to work with, your choice of cabinet layout is limited. For square spaces, a U-Shape layout, minus the island, is an ideal option. For rectangular spaces, an L-Shape or galley layout can work out nicely. The most crucial aspects when planning for a small kitchen are vertical layout and storage. You can use these aspects to design your kitchen to meet your functional and aesthetic needs.
StorageWhen the floor space is limited, the inside sections of the cabinets play a huge role. In order to make your cabinets more efficient, you should use pull-out mechanisms in order to access the farthest corners of the units. It’s quite obvious that in a small kitchen, you should make use of each and every inch of space you can get. For instance, you can hang utensils on the underside of cabinets and hang spices on the back of cabinet doors.
Vertical SolutionsOlder homes often have smaller kitchens but, on the flipside, they do have high ceilings which are something you can take advantage of. You can use this increased vertical space in your kitchen to install extra cabinets for additional storage space in your kitchen.
LightingYou can use natural light to make your small kitchen look and feel larger than it actually is. By reflecting natural light on cabinets and worktops, you can easily add size and character to even the smallest of kitchens. If you have limited wall space in your kitchen, you can opt to use lighting as a tool for decoration to distract people from what is lacking. Some nice lighting does not consume any extra floor space. Again, an ideal layout is one that strikes a perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. On top of this, the layout should also strike a balance between the many different identities and personalities in your home. Always use the ‘work triangle’ when formulating an ideal layout for your kitchen.
Choosing between loft and self-storage is a decision that many people struggle with. The most common question we encounter is: “If I have a loft in my home, why do I need to pay for self-storage?”. Where can i get a self storage quote? This is actually a pretty valid question. For some individuals, a loft is a perfect place to store their valuables and old items. However, there are several reasons why it’s not advisable to use your loft as a storage space. For starters, it may be a dangerous, impractical or downright difficult place to store your things. Today, we are going to highlight some of the reasons why your loft may not be the most ideal storage solution in comparison to self-storage.