The whole world has undergone a drastic change due to the global pandemic; the property sector has also been hit hard. With the change in government legislation to protect tenant’s rights and safety, there was a temporary ban on evictions and demanding higher rental prices. All these badly affected landlords, especially those renting HMO properties.
In such properties, several tenants live in a single apartment or flat but pay separate rents. The government’s rules for social distancing affected the way HMOs used to operate. Due to changing dynamics, consumer behaviors are also changing. Now renters have different requirements when it comes to renting an apartment.
1. Suitable Place For Working From Home
Due to COVID-19, the whole world had to adapt to working from home. This trend is still on the rise as the threat of this virus sustains. Renters now prefer apartments that provide facilities that enable a comfortable environment for working from home.
Landlords need to keep this in mind and offer internet services, workstations, and suitable furniture. An add-on would be including a relaxing chair that can help the professionals working from home to have quality time.
2. Demand For Spacious Rooms
The average room size in an HMO is about 6.51 square meters. But now renters are demanding spacious rooms about 10.22 square meters in which they can adjust their workstations. Moreover, this is the only place they have during the lockdown, so there should be enough space for doing the workout.
Besides, renting apartments has become a lifestyle for people living in UK. And even coronavirus couldn’t stop it from rising; therefore, analyzing the consumer’s changing demands is essential.
3. Increase In Demand of Car Storage Area
There has been an increase in demand for properties that has space for bike/car storage. If multiple tenants are residing in an HMO, there should be enough space for each renter’s bike or car. Landlords need to adapt their rental apartments or accommodation according to this emerging need.
Otherwise, they will not be able to stay longer in the competitive HMO market. So, if you plan to convert your property to an HMO, make sure you consider the space for storage. In case there is not enough area, drop the idea.
4. Renters Prefer Rooms With En-suites
Coronavirus changed the way renters used to think. Previously, tenants living in HMOs had no problem sharing the bathroom with others. But currently, having a separate bathroom has become more of a necessity.
It changes the complete layout of an HMO property where two bathrooms seemed enough. Now, it is preferable to have en-suites in each bedroom. These attached bathrooms are not only in demand but also ensure the safety of the people living in your apartment.
5. Less Crowded HMOs
Landlords of HMOs used to prefer more rooms to generate more revenue. However, more rooms mean more renters, which can be threatening in times of the global pandemic. Thus, avoid converting properties to a fish market and consider the layout of your property.
The rooms should be big enough to allow the renters to work from home, and the shared areas (kitchen, communal area) should be less crowded. If you let several rooms, it might create an undesirable situation for some tenants. Thus resulting in a lesser pool of rental applicants, and you surely don’t want that in these tougher times.
6. Proper Cleaning System
As a landlord, it should be your priority to keep your property clean and well-organized. Besides, it has also become a significant concern for renters. You can make sure that everything is disinfected and cleansed by getting cleaning services.
By getting such services, you can ensure that your apartment is free from virus and also well-maintained. You can also provide sanitizers, bleaches, and detergents for the household’s safety.
7. Proper Ventilation System
According to the State’s law, it was already necessary for HMOs to have well-ventilated rooms. Due to current circumstances, renters want a proper ventilation system in shared spaces like kitchen and sitting areas. It is a precautionary measure that helps to fight the virus. Therefore, all landlords need to get ready for the changed requirements of tenants.
Landlords need to ensure tenants’ safety in HMOs as maintaining social distance and physical contact can be tricky in such a residence. Moreover, they also need to operate differently to cater to the changing needs of renters due to COVID-19.