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HMOs / Student lets

What is a HMO

Your property is a HMO (a House in Multiple Occupation) if both the following apply :- 

  • At least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
  • Toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared

Your property is considered to be a large HMO if all of the following apply:

  • It is at least 3 storeys high
  • At least 5 tenants live there forming more than 1 household
  • Toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared with other tenants
  • A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships.

Complying with Conditions of Licensing

A licence will come with conditions regarding minimum standards for the building.

Mandatory conditions include: -

  • Having an annual gas safety check and certificate
  • Keeping electrical appliances and furniture supplied in safe condition and providing declarations of their safety to the council.
  • Installing and maintaining smoke alarms
  • Providing occupiers with a statement of the terms on which they occupy the HMO

Councils may apply specific additional conditions relating to facilities in or management of the HMO.

The Pros and Cons of Student Lets

Pros

  • Demand for student lets can be strong
  • The standard of accommodation and furnishings need not be state of the art 
  • Student lets are usually for 12 months minimum
  • By its very nature, students’ lets are unlikely to be long term. Students move on.
  • Student lets tend to offer high yields

Cons

  • Wear and tear tends to be higher
  • Most students require properties to be fully furnished
  • Most students will not be able to provide credit references and will not be in employment etc. The use of guarantors, typically parents, may be advisable.
  • There may be a gap or reduction in rental income during the summer months