Things To Look Out For When Buying An HMO

When buying an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) conducting thorough due diligence is crucial to ensure a successful investment. Here are the top 10 due diligence checks you should consider:

1. HMO Licensing and Compliance

Understand the specific HMO licensing requirements for the property. Each local authority may have different regulations, so check their guidelines. Ensure the property has a valid HMO license and that it is renewed before expiration (usually valid for up to five years). Verify gas safety certificates, smoke alarms, and electrical safety compliance.

2. Planning Permission

Having an HMO license does not automatically mean planning compliance. Check if there’s a legal obligation to apply for planning permission for HMO use. Some changes of use from residential to HMO may be permitted under permitted development rights, if up to 6 bed and not in Article 4, but local authorities may have additional requirements.

3. Financial Analysis

Rigorously analyse the financial aspects of the investment. Consider key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess potential profitability.Rigorously analyse the financial aspects of the investment. Consider key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess potential profitability.

4. Proximity to Universities and Hospitals

Evaluate the property’s location in relation to universities and hospitals. HMOs near educational institutions tend to attract students and graduates

5. Property Condition and Repairs

Inspect the property thoroughly for any necessary repairs or maintenance. Consider the cost of bringing the property up to standard if it requires improvements

6. Tenant Demand and Market Research

Research the local rental market and demand for HMOs. Understand the tenant profile you’re targeting. Consider factors like job opportunities, transportation, and amenities.

7. Management and Operations

Assess your ability to manage the property effectively. Consider whether you’ll self-manage or hire a professional property manager. Understand the responsibilities involved in managing an HMO.

8. Legal and Leasehold Issues

Review existing contracts, leases, and agreements related to the property. Check for any legal disputes or outstanding issues.

9. Financial Projections and Cash Flow

Create financial projections based on rental income, expenses, and potential vacancies. Ensure the investment aligns with your financial goals.

10. Exit Strategy

Plan your exit strategy. Consider whether you’ll hold the property long-term or sell it after a certain period. Understand the potential resale value and market conditions.
Remember that due diligence is essential to mitigate risks and make informed decisions when investing in an HMO property. Always seek professional advice and consult legal and financial experts to guide you through the process.