If you’re searching for a new home to rent, you may have come across the term “HMO” and wondered what it means. The HMO definition is simple: an HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation, and is a property rented out to three or more tenants who are not part of the same household and who share facilities like kitchens and bathrooms. Effectively, an HMO is a house-share. In this article, we’ll explore the different aspects of HMOs, including their definition, legal requirements, and benefits and challenges for landlords and tenants.
HMO Definition for Landlords and Tenants
Firstly, let’s clarify what is meant by the term HMO definition. An HMO definition refers to the legal definition of a House in Multiple Occupation, which is set out in the Housing Act 2004. This definition is important because it determines which properties are subject to HMO licensing and safety requirements.
In general, an HMO is any property that is occupied by three or more unrelated people who share common facilities. This can include properties that are converted into self-contained flats or individual rooms, as well as purpose-built HMOs. Landlords who rent out certain HMOs are required to obtain an HMO licence from their local authority, which ensures that the property meets certain safety, amenity standards and HMO requirements.
In addition to the legal definition of an HMO, there are also various other terms and concepts that are related to HMOs. For example, HMO insurance is a type of insurance policy that is specifically designed to protect landlords who rent out HMOs. HMO mortgages are another type of financial product that is tailored to the needs of HMO landlords.
Benefits of Living in a HMO
One of the most significant advantages of living in an HMO is the cost-effective rent. Firstly, renting a single room in a shared house is significantly more affordable than renting an entire property on your own. Moreover, when you rent an entire property, you are responsible for paying all the bills, including electricity, gas, water, and internet. In an HMO, these bills are often included in the monthly rent, saving you time and money on managing separate bills.
Flexibility of Tenancy Agreements
One of the notable benefits of living in an HMO is the flexibility in tenancy agreements. When you rent a room in a shared house, you have the option to choose a tenancy agreement that meets your requirements. If you’re a student, you may prefer a 12-month term, while if you’re a young professional, a 6-month term may offer you the freedom to make future changes.
Additionally, landlords of HMOs are often willing to release tenants from their tenancy agreement early as long as they are able to find a replacement tenant, which is a relatively straightforward process due to the high demand for rooms to rent. This is a stark contrast to single let properties, where tenants are typically required to sign a minimum 12-month term, and it is almost impossible to get permission to move out early, not to mention the difficulties of finding a replacement tenant without access to property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.
A Sense of Community
Living in an HMO can provide a unique sense of community, one that goes beyond just sharing living quarters with others. Renting a room in a shared house means living with individuals who are in similar situations as yourself, providing a support network and a sense of belonging. This can make you feel less isolated, especially if you’re moving to a new city and looking to make new friends.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of living in an HMO is the opportunity to form close relationships with your housemates. Whether it’s cooking meals together, having movie nights, or going out to explore the city, you’ll find that you have plenty of opportunities to bond and make memories with your fellow housemates. The best part is that you not only get to know your housemates but also their friends, expanding your social network and giving you a sense of community that is hard to find when living alone.
Improved Quality of Life
HMO’s offer tenants a high standard of living as they must comply with strict regulations regarding health and safety. These regulations ensure that the living conditions in HMO’s are safe and secure for tenants. Landlords of HMO’s are also required to provide specific facilities and services to maintain this high standard. Examples of these facilities include fire doors, heat and smoke alarms, and a minimum room sizes. Regular inspections by the council are also conducted to ensure that all regulations are being followed, thereby providing peace of mind to tenants
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Living in an HMO can also reduce maintenance costs. When you rent a room in a shared house, the cost of maintaining the property is shared between all of the tenants and the landlord. The landlord is typically responsible for maintaining the shared facilities in kitchens and bathrooms and other common areas. Additionally, the cost of any necessary repairs or renovations is shared among all tenants, meaning that individual expenses are significantly reduced.
No Furniture Required
One of the biggest advantages of HMOs is that they come fully furnished. This means that you don’t have to worry about buying or moving furniture into your new home. Instead, you can move right in and start enjoying your new space.
Generally in an HMO, you’ll find that your room comes fully furnished, typically with a bed, wardrobe, and other essential pieces of furniture. But that’s just the beginning. The shared spaces, such as the kitchen and lounge, are also fully equipped. In the kitchen, you’ll find all the white goods you need, including a fridge, cooker, washing machine etc. HMO’s tend to come with a full set of crockery, cutlery, pots and pans etc. The lounge will also be equipped with a TV and sofa etc, so you can relax and unwind after a long day.
In contrast, when you rent a single let, the property commonly comes unfurnished. This means that you’ll need to purchase all the furniture yourself and move it into your new home. This can be a hassle and can also be expensive. Not only do you need to buy furniture, but you’ll also need to pay for the delivery and installation of the items.
The HMO definition describes a type of accommodation that offers a range of benefits for tenants. Whether you’re looking to save money on rent, want the flexibility of a short-term lease, or are seeking a sense of community, an HMO could be the perfect choice for you. With affordable rent, improved quality of life and reduced maintenance costs, HMOs offer a unique and attractive housing option for tenants.
If you are looking for an expert HMO Letting agent in South London, feel free to contact us today or if you need any expert HMO guidance.