is a 4 bed HMO worth it

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    is a 4 bed HMO worth it

    Hi everyone, first post, so please be kind ;-)

    Have let out a victorian 2 bed house for about 10 years. Steady profit of £300 ish per month. Little hassle. Virtually no voids.

    Due to covid, have lost job, so thinking of ways to increase income. So, considering converting living room to bedroom 3 and maybe half of the extended kitchen to bedroom 4. Assuming I get HMO license from council as want all to be legit.

    my questions are-
    • Is the extra monthly income worth it - ie paying the council tax, utilities, etc?
    • Will a 3 bed be suffice or do i need a 4 bed for it to pay off?
    • is the extra hassle worth it?

    and anything else you are kind enough to throw into the mix.


    Lots of hassle and need to know your market. Are you going to rent out to sharers who know each other or individuals which means the rent will have ti include the bills. Its a big job keeping a lid on those bills. Key meters. The water in particular. Much more usage of boiler cooker wash machine etc. Then it all depends on your local authority and their HMO rules. You may require planning and if you need a licence expect quite a big initial expense. Wired fire alarms, fire doors etc etc. If you making £300 a month with no voids and no hassle KEEP IT LIKE THAT!


      The short answer is probably no its probably not worth the hassle.


        I have a 4 bed and a 5 bed HMO and they can be a load of work and sometimes they're OK. it depends on the people in them. Some people needing a room are working away from their home town and they tend to be no bother, but some are men who've been thrown out of their home and have run out of places to stay. These tend to be dirty and unable to live with others. You'll be responsible for keeping the communal spaces clean. I provide cleaning materials, washing up cloths, tea towels and one toilet per person per week (so nobody brings those thick blue cleaning rolls home from work and block the toilet). I've had 5 empty rooms all over lock down so the income isn't great at the moment. The other 4 rooms are taken by long term tenants.


          My first option (depending on the pool of available tenants) would be to let it out on a joint AST to three sharers (students or young professionals). They are then responsible for bills, cleaning etc. The cost of converting part of the kitchen into a bedroom for a 4th person would make a big dent in your profit for a long time and it would probably take value off the house.

          If you have, or could find, a reliable cleaner locally, I'd also consider airbnb, assuming it is somewhere people want to stay for a short break. Much more profitable and less hassle even when cleaning cost, etc, is taken into consideration. No point if it's an industrial suburb somewhere, but any kind of pleasant city/countryside location will be successful.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


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