HMO Defined

Tenants Changes of Expectations Post Covid
An HMO, or House of Multiple Occupancy, is a property that accommodates tenants from multiple households. In recent times, HMOs have gained widespread popularity. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a shift in the expectations of tenants in HMOs. This article will define what an HMO is, and the changes of tenants expectations post Covid.

HMO Defined

An HMO or, house in multiple occupation, is a houseshare that is occupied by at least three tenants from separate households. This means that each tenant has their own bedroom yet shares communal areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and living room with the other tenants. HMOs are often used by students and young professionals.

Defining Households

Having a clear understanding of households plays a crucial role in determining the eligibility of the property as an HMO, as well as in helping the landlord manage the property and ensure compliance with local regulations.

A household is a group of people who live together in the same dwelling, typically comprising a family unit.

Examples of what is considered to be a single household include:

  • A single individual living alone in a property.
  • A married couple living in a property.
  • A family with children living a rental property
  • A single individual renting a room in an HMO

Changing Expectations of HMO Tenants Post Covid

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the expectations of tenants in HMOs. The shift in work patterns, lifestyle changes, and an increased focus on hygiene and comfort have caused tenants to prioritize certain amenities and features in their living spaces. In this article, we will delve into the changing expectations of tenants in HMOs and what HMO managers and landlords can do to meet these changing demands.

Prioritizing Fast and Reliable Internet and Home Office Facilities

The pandemic has led to a significant increase in remote work and digital entertainment, making fast and reliable internet and comfortable home office facilities top priorities for tenants in HMOs. With the shift towards working from home, tenants are looking for spaces that provide a seamless and uninterrupted connection to the internet, as well as a comfortable work environment that is conducive to productivity.

Emphasis on Health and Hygiene

Health and hygiene have become a top priority for tenants in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants are now more conscious about the cleanliness and sanitation of their living spaces and expect HMO managers and landlords to help encourage a hygienic environment. This means that special attention must be given to communal areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Creating Comfortable and Cozy Living Spaces

With the increased amount of time spent at home, tenants are seeking comfortable and cozy living spaces that help create a homely atmosphere. A comfortable sofa, TV, and other amenities can enhance the overall aesthetic of an HMO and make it a more appealing living space.

Fostering a Friendly and Welcoming Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased social isolation and loneliness, leading tenants to seek HMOs that foster a sense of community. HMO managers and landlords can promote communal activities and provide shared spaces for socialising and interaction with other tenants to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. By fostering a sense of community, tenants are likely to feel more at home in their HMOs.

Highlighting Local Amenities and Ease of Travel

The pandemic has cultivated a love for local amenities and proximity to local shops such as butchers, greengrocers, coffee shops and local fashion. HMO managers and landlords should highlight these features when advertising their properties, as they can play a decisive role in attracting potential tenants. Additionally, with the increase in domestic tourism, it is crucial to highlight the ease of travel to popular tourist destinations and provide information about transportation options and proximity to tourist hotspots.

Understanding for Mental Health Issues

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an increase in mental health issues such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. It is imperative for HMO managers and landlords to be patient and understanding towards tenants who may be struggling with these issues. Creating a non-threatening, supportive environment that encourages open and honest communication can help tenants who are struggling with mental health issues.


An HMO Defined is a type of property that accommodates tenants from multiple households and has gained widespread popularity in recent times. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a shift in tenants’ expectations, with an increased focus on fast and reliable internet, hygiene, comfort, community building, and mental health support. HMO managers and landlords must understand and adapt to these changing expectations to ensure the success of HMOs in the post-pandemic world.

The long term success of an HMO property depends on meeting the needs of the target market, and it is imperative for HMO landlords to stay ahead of the curve and listen to what their tenants are looking for. By providing for these changing expectations, HMO landlords can ensure that their properties remain attractive and appealing to their target market.

For HMO management and HMO lettings in South London, or for expert HMO advice and consultation, contact us today.

Carl Evans

Written By Carl Evans

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