The Property Hub Group

What is an HMO and Why Consider It for Investment?

Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Comprehensive Guide to HMO Investments: Benefits and Legal Requirements

Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), commonly known as house shares, involve properties rented out to at least three tenants from different households who share facilities like kitchens and bathrooms. This type of property investment is often favoured for its potential to yield higher returns compared to single-tenancy properties.

Understanding HMOs: What You Need to Know


Definition and Types of HMOs

An HMO is a property that houses three or more tenants from different households but shares common areas. These are prevalent among student groups and young professionals. They are not to be confused with separate flats within a building; rather, they involve shared living arrangements within a single property.

Advantages of Investing in HMOs

Investing in HMOs can significantly increase rental yields, offering returns between 8-12%, compared to the 5-7% typically associated with single-tenant properties. This type of investment allows landlords to generate income from multiple tenants under one roof, which can mitigate financial risks associated with tenant turnover.

Potential Drawbacks

While the financial benefits are compelling, HMOs require more management due to their complexity and the number of tenants. They may also incur higher initial costs and stricter regulatory requirements, making them a more involved investment option.

property invesment

Legal Considerations for HMO Landlords

Licensing Requirements

Depending on the size and location of the HMO, landlords may need a mandatory HMO license. This is usually required for properties housing five or more tenants from different households. Licenses are typically valid for five years but can vary based on local council regulations.

The cost of a HMO licence

Room Size and Safety Regulations

To comply with the 2018 HMO regulations, rooms must meet minimum size requirements—6.51 square meters for single adult rooms and 10.22 square meters for doubles. Landlords must also ensure that the property meets safety standards regarding fire safety, gas safety, and electrical inspections.

The Houses in multiple occupation and residential property licensing reform from 2018 

Fire Safety Regulations

Economic Viability of HMOs

Rental Income and Economic Fluctuations

HMOs often attract a consistent demand, particularly in urban areas with high student populations, offering landlords a stable income stream. Additionally, the risk of income loss from tenant vacancies is lower, as other tenants continue to pay rent.

Considerations for New Investors

For those new to property investments, HMOs offer a lucrative but challenging opportunity. Potential investors should consider their ability to manage multiple tenant relationships and comply with more extensive regulatory requirements.

Are HMOs Worth the Investment?

HMOs represent a high-yield investment opportunity that, despite its challenges, can offer substantial financial returns and diversification of income sources. For investors willing to engage with the complexities of managing such properties, HMOs can be a valuable addition to a property portfolio.

Tailored Advice for Prospective HMO Investors

For personalised investment advice and to explore whether HMOs fit your financial goals, consider consulting with a property investment specialist. They can provide insights specific to your situation and help you navigate the complexities of HMO investments.


Q1: What is the typical ROI for an HMO? The return on investment for HMOs can range between 8-12%, significantly higher than single-tenancy properties.

Q2: Do all HMOs require a license? Not all, but properties with five or more tenants from different households usually do.

Q3: What are common challenges faced by HMO landlords? Managing multiple tenants and adhering to strict safety and space regulations are key challenges.

Q4: How do economic downturns affect HMO investments? HMOs tend to remain in demand due to their affordability for tenants, potentially offering stability during economic downturns.

Q5: Can I convert any property into an HMO? Conversion depends on local planning laws and the property’s suitability for meeting HMO regulations.

Explore the benefits of HMO properties today.

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Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, HMOs offer significant opportunities for increased returns. Don’t miss out on the potential to enhance your financial growth. Contact a property investment specialist now to discuss how HMO investments can fit into your strategy. Invest in your future—start your HMO investment journey today