Brief History of HMOs

A brief history of HMOs

The model of investing in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has changed over the last few years due to some key developments in the rules and regulations governing the management of these types of properties.

Laws regarding HMOs

It is advisable to stay up to date with any guidance given or regulations stipulated by your local authority. There are also national laws that have been put in place –

For the most up to date legislation visit

As the popularity of HMOs grew in the 1990s and the 2000s, the opportunity started to become more appealing to the experienced property investor. The United Kingdom benefits from many old and traditional structures that can now be repurposed to provide single dwelling rooms or units for premium profits.

For a strategy that some investors have not even heard of, the fact that there were nearly 500 thousand registered HMOs in 2018 might come as a surprise. Of course, some of these kinds of property will be owned by corporations and overseas interests, but there are plenty of opportunities for the average investor to enter this market.

How the law affects landlords

The HMO landscape was subject to even tighter restrictions in 2006 with specific HMO licensing mandated in every local authority. These regulations are not aimed at curtailing investor profits, but instead at keeping tenants safe and keeping landlords well within the law.

As well as providing landlords with a list of what not to do, the licensing guidelines for HMO’s also provide a handy checklist for the health and safety, fire safety and logistical concerns that you should also be taking into consideration.

Being a good landlord is being aware of any restrictions or mandates imposed by law, and with HMOs the penalty for not adhering to these can be severe. The team at Hoxton Property only work with providers that follow legislation and can provide peace of mind that your investment is compliant.

The future of HMOs

The past few years have seen some incredible advancements in technology, as well as a greater appetite for unique and personalised lifestyles. In our post-pandemic world, the focus has shifted from the Monday to Friday 9-5, office-based lifestyle to one that is essentially location optional.

This freedom that now exists for the average remote worker has led to an increase in the nomadic attitude towards renting property. There has been a surprising rise in the number of alternative lifestyles showcased on YouTube and social media. People of all ages are choosing to live on boats, in their vans or even travel the world instead of staying in the one home for decades.

This shift in consumer attitudes has created a huge gap in the market for innovative and flexible short-term living solutions. While we will always have the traditional interest in HMOs from student lets and serviced accommodation, the savvy investor will be looking to the future to determine what the next generation of HMO tenant will need.

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