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HMO Development - From Concept to Completion in Five Steps

HMOs (house of multiple occupation) are a great way to increase your income from a residential property compared to a single let, but you need to think carefully before you commit.

Here is our quick five step process:

1. The first thing you need to consider is the area, location, proximity of transport links and your target market. You might want to appeal to working professionals, in which case you will want to provide all ensuite rooms and a good-sized social space. If you want to appeal to a more mature couples’ market, then find a property with larger double bedrooms, with a good number of parking spaces in a quiet location.

2. Once you have found the ideal area, you need to find the right property. The property itself needs to be suitable for conversion. Considerations when viewing includes room sizes, drainage runs for ensuites, floor to ceiling heights and any opportunities to maximise floor areas – including converting roofs, new build extensions and dividing large rooms.

3. Next you need to have an understanding on how to change the property from its current layout into the new. Questions like; is planning permission required? What are the local HMO regulations? What is the extent of the work and is any of it structural? What external professionals are needed? It is likely that you will need Building Control, as well as an architect, Structural Engineer and a Quantity Surveyor. Having the right professional team is fundamental to the success of a project. Not only do they ensure you comply with the necessary statutory approvals, but they should also work with you to design the scheme so that it appeals to your target market.

4. Once you have the design complete and necessary approvals, you will need to procure the works. We would recommend tendering to a minimum of three contractors. Do your due diligence on the company, making sure that they are reputable, have a suitable turnover and check their past experience. Look for projects of a similar size and complexity. During the works, you will need to manage the contractor closely, including any programme or cost increases, especially if they are due to client-led changes or site conditions.

5. Once the works are complete, you will need a handover from the contractor to the property management team so that they understand how all the systems work. You’ll want to install furniture and dress the property, before taking professional photographs. Lastly, choose a quality agent with experience of HMOs to market the property to your target audience.

Elements Real Estate Group have handed over 26 rooms in the last 12 months. We provide a complete turnkey service including planning, design, procurement and construction management of the project. We work with investors and developers to take away the headache of development – they give us the keys at the beginning and we handover a completed and operational building at the end.

We hope you have found the above a useful insight. If you would like to find out more, see photos or arrange a site visit, please reach out to us via email:


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