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HMO Property Investment In Edinburgh

HMO properties (House of Multiple Occupancy) can be one of the best performing type of rental properties due to their high rental yields. There is a lack of multiple occupancy property in Edinburgh and an increasing student population, resulting in high levels of competition and minimal void time. This makes owning an HMO property a very attractive investment.

HMO properties are more complicated than regular flat rentals, which is where Glenham fit in. We are specialists in HMO properties and will help you with the legal implications of owning an HMO, as well as ensuring your property is certified by the council, finding tenants and maintaining your property. Let us take away the stress of being a landlord.

HMO – the Basics

HMO means House of Multiple Occupancy. A property becomes an HMO if there are three or more unrelated individuals living in the property and a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared between the tenants.

HMO properties generally tend to appeal to the following groups of people;

  • Students
  • International workers
  • Those on a lower wage
  • People who move around a lot for work (contract workers)

The student market is the biggest HMO market in Edinburgh as the student population is over 40,000

Amanda, our HMO specialist, has put together her top tips for managing an HMO property.

5 Tips to owning a successful HMO Property

  • Choose a property in the right area for your market
  • Maintain your property – it will save you money in the long term
  • Choose reliable tenants
  • Don’t miss renewal/application deadlines or you risk being charged increased fees, or at worst, the threat of legal action from the HMO enforcement officers
  • Use a reputable agent like Glenham Property to manage the property and ensure that all the above criteria are met, and the HMO license and respective tenancies run smoothly.

Investing in an HMO

If you are investing in an HMO property it is key to have a good understanding of the market. If you want to appeal to the student market it is important to understand where students want to live – you might have the perfect HMO property, but if it is miles from the university it is not going to rent.


HMO properties require additional features that regular properties do not. We can help you find out exactly what you need in the property first before you spend unnecessary money upgrading a property – i.e. putting in fire doors when you might not need them across the entire premises. Glenham can guide you through the regulatory process.

It is also true to say that HMO properties receive a lot of wear and tear – invest in durable furnishings and fittings. Glenham provides regular inspections of your property to give you peace of mind.


The key to happy and successful property rental is good tenants, which in turn will reduce any objections to the property having an HMO licence. Glenham has a thorough screening process to ensure that your property has the best suiting tenants.

HMO Licence

Because of the nature of an HMO property a special licence must be applied for via the local council licensing department. The license currently lasts for one year – however it varies from authority to authority across the UK.

Licence costs depend on the local authority and the size of the property. In Edinburgh the cost ranges from £520 for a 3 bed to £602 for 5 bed. Renewals are at a reduced rate cheaper provided there is no lapse in cover.

Obtaining a licence can be a little complicated for a first time landlord, which is where it can be helpful using a property manager like Glenham.

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