10 Tips to Attract the Best Tenants to Your HMO

It can be easy to get carried away when designing your HMO with the most striking colours and the latest trends. But there is so much else that you need to consider to ensure your HMO appeals to the best tenants and sell your rooms quickly.

Designing an HMO well requires you to make lots of informed decisions. From choosing a new layout for your property, creating your room plans, to selecting colours, furniture, accessories, kitchens, bathrooms, tiles, flooring… There is more than enough to think about!

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 Design Tips to Attract the Best Tenants to Your HMO. Follow these tips, and you should see your rooms selling quickly, staying tenanted, and you might even increase your rents (it’s worked for us!).

1) Plan Your Layout Carefully

Deciding the layout of your property will be one of the first things you’ll need to look at when designing your HMO. In all of our HMO designs, we maintain a balance between plentiful communal space and bedroom size. Bedrooms need to be large enough to have lots of storage space, furniture and room to move around in. 

Sometimes, it’s worth sacrificing that extra bedroom if it means your communal space and bedrooms can be more extensive. It’s better to have the whole house full of higher rents and happy tenants than shoe-box-sized bedrooms that you can’t sell. 

Your bedrooms should be big enough to hold the furniture your tenants want. Desk space is often a good idea (many HMO tenants are young professionals who need a workspace). We find that en-suite bathrooms are a great ‘pull’, as tenants prefer a private bathroom rather than sharing. 

2) Make Sure Your Kitchen is Well-Equipped

Never underestimate the power of a well-equipped kitchen when it comes to renting out an HMO! Tenants spend a good chunk of time cooking and prepping their meals in the kitchen, so getting this space right is crucial.

Ensure when planning the kitchen that you have allowed for enough space for all of the amenities you’ll need, such as enough hob/oven space, plenty of fridge and freezer space and most importantly, plenty of cupboards and worktop space for each tenant. 

We like to provide little extras where possible such as a dishwasher, coffee machine (who doesn’t love a morning coffee?) and every piece of crockery and utensil you could need!

3) Provide Enough Communal Space

We’ve already covered the kitchen, but what about other communal spaces like lounge and dining areas?

You’ve probably noticed that not every HMO has a lounge area, so you might assume that this is something you can skip past. However, we have found that a lounge space is something tenants want (they’re just stuck in their rooms all day long otherwise). 

Dining space is equally as important. We try to create a feature in our dining spaces through a feature wall, pendant lights, or a bench seat—all of this helps establish a dining area in your communal space. Adding plenty of plug sockets around the dining space also makes it a perfect place to work at!

4) Invest Wisely in Your Furniture

Good quality furniture doesn’t have to break the bank, but in the long-term, it does pay to steer clear of the cheap stuff that will only need replacing again in a year or two. We always do lots of shopping around when finding furniture for our clients, but we also look at trusted brands and check the reviews on anything we recommend. 

You can add a lot to your space by choosing the right furniture. So, always make sure the furniture style fits with the interior design scheme you are working within. You don’t have to use the same brand for all of your pieces so long as they all work well together. 

5) Don’t Forget About Your Garden Space

Think of the garden as an extension of the main house. Tenants will appreciate having a safe space outdoors that they can relax in during the Spring/Summer months and enjoy a BBQ with their fellow tenants. 

Bike storage is another thing to consider in the garden. Having a lockable and waterproof space to store bikes can be a huge selling point to any HMO.

6) Steer Clear of Trends

Unpopular opinion incoming! Interior design trends are OVERRATED.

Stick with me for a second, and I’ll explain.

Whilst a property can look unique and fashionable and provide some great photos for your Instagram, your property will date quickly, resulting in a redesign just a few years later. 

There are many ideas that you can base your design scheme on that aren’t the latest trend. You could even come up with a scheme that fits into your company’s branding (have you wondered why most of our properties have Scandi-inspired interiors?) or choose a scheme that complements the age and character of the property but with a modern twist. 

It’s also safe to pick a style such as industrial, minimalist or monochrome. These will never go out of fashion. The execution changes slightly over the years, but ultimately, they are timeless.

Extra Tip: When executing any of your designs, keep in mind that you are creating a home and not a funky nightclub or restaurant. You’ll want the design to be subtle enough that the property feels homely for your tenants.

7) Provide Enough Bedroom Storage

This seems obvious, but there is nothing worse than not having enough storage space in your room for all of your clothes and shoes. Think about how much worse that would be if there is no alternative. In an HMO, tenants can’t keep their belongings elsewhere in the house!

We always provide plenty of hanging space, drawers, and bedside tables in any HMO design we complete. We also put in fitted wardrobes where possible because they are great for taking up an awkward space in a room and providing lots of extra storage space. 

Hint: Don’t forget about under bed storage. You can buy beds with drawers on the sides or with room underneath for storage boxes and suitcases.

8) TV & Broadband

Designing a good HMO isn’t all about looks and storage! It must function well for your tenants. And in this climate that means providing good services to allow them to work from home comfortably if needed. We would recommend super-fast broadband and replacing the standard router your provider sends you with a mesh system. A wifi mesh system will give you a strong wifi signal all around the home and are far better than powerline adapters/boosters. 

We like to add aerial sockets in every bedroom so that tenants can have their own TV if they want to watch their favourite shows. We also fit a TV in the communal areas if tenants want to watch TV when cooking or chill out somewhere other than their bedroom!

9) Parking

You should always consider parking arrangements with any property you’re looking at converting into an HMO. A driveway is the best outcome, but that’s not always possible. If there isn’t a drive, then is there somewhere nearby to park or street parking? We use a rule of thumb to have at least 1 parking space for every 3 tenants in an HMO. 

10) Tenant Types

Believe it or not, the type of tenants you have in your HMO can affect your ability to fill all of your rooms. We try to stick to one tenant type in each property (e.g. all young professionals together) as we find this is what our tenants prefer.

We do what we can to ensure all of our tenants are reputable, and that starts with high-quality design. Design a high-end product, and you will attract higher rents along with professional tenants. We search for tenants who will treat the home like it’s their own, and we always meet our tenants in person before they move in. 

So, there you have it. Those are our 10 tips to attract the best tenants to your HMO. If you have just purchased a property you are converting into an HMO and need some support with the design or renovation, drop us a line

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