The Ultimate HMO Room Sizes Guide

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the ultimate HMO room sizes guide


When it comes to House of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) there’s no doubt that there’s an interest in maximizing returns while still offering quality living standards. These two elements can be tricky to combine, for this reason, we combined them for you in the ultimate HMO Room Sizes Guide.


In the following post, you will find some furnishing ideas and tips to get the best out of all your HMO room sizes.



Table of contents


6.5 m² Room Configuration 


8 m² Room Configuration 


9 m² Room Configuration 


10 m² Room Configuration 


11 m² Room Configuration 


12 m² Room Configuration 


Optimising Your HMO Room Space


Captivating Design For Higher Rent 




6,5 m² Room Configuration


6,5 squared meters room sizes


Here we have different alternatives for a 6,5 m² room, which is the smallest option available for HMOs. Our team managed to find a solution to fit all the essential furniture. For example in the case of students, who are the most likely to be renting this type of room.


Our HMO Room Sizes Guide provides three types of room configuration, which are based on the different positioning of bedroom door and window.


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm )
  • Single Bed – small (136×215 cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)
  • Desk – small (100x500x75 cm)
  • Wall Lamp (as shown)




8 m² Room Configuration


8 squared meters room sizes


This type of room is bigger and can host a double bed. The latter is usually preferred by tenants, even in the case of one-person occupancy. For this room size we provided option Room 1 with:  


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm) 
  • Single Bed  – small (136×215 cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)
  • Desk  – big (140x500x75 cm)
  • Dresser (84x55x70 cm)


 This type of configuration is also able to contain a bigger single bed, so in Room 2 we placed:  


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm)
  • Single bed – big (156×218 cm) 
  • Desk – big (140x500x75 cm)
  • Dresser (84x55x70 cm)


In the case of Room 3, we provided a king size bed option. It’s optimal for professionals or couples; which might don’t need a desk. The third room option presents: 


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm)
  • Kingsize Bed (206×218 cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)




9 m² Room Configuration


9 squared meters room sizes


In the case of a 9 m² room in Room 1 you can fit:  


  • Single Bed – big (156×218 cm)
  • Bedside Table  (49x51x44 cm)
  • Dresser – big (142x55x70 cm)


This option doesn’t include a wardrobe or desk. Therefore it allows more free space for personal items or decor, for example, a plant. Room 2 shows:


  •  Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (153x55x200 cm) 
  • Single Bed – big (56×218 cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)
  • Desk – big (140x500x75 cm)


In this case, we took out the bedside table. We offer bigger storage and a desk, while still allowing some free space for other personal items. Room 3,  instead, offers:


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (153x55x200 cm) 
  • Single Bed – small(136×215 cm)
  • Bedside Table  (49x51x44 cm)
  • Dresser (84x55x70 cm)
  • Desk – big(140x500x75 cm)




10 m² Room Configuration


10 squared meters room sizes


For a larger 10 m²rooms, we suggested an in-wall built illumination, which will give the space a cosier feeling.


 In Room 1 we positioned: 


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm) 
  • Single bed – big (156x218cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)  
  • Desk – small, right next to the bed (100x500x75 cm)


In room 2 we positioned: 


  • Wardrobe- small (90x55x200 cm)
  • Single bed – big (156×218 cm)
  • Two Bedside Tables (49x51x44 cm)
  • Desk – small (100x500x75 cm)


The latter is smaller and allows some extra space for plant decor or other options of choice.  


 Room 3 offers: 


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm)
  • Single Bed – big (156×218 cm)
  • Bedside Table (49x51x44 cm)
  • Dresser (84x55x70 cm)
  • Extra  room for a small armchair and decor


This might be the best option for professionals not needing a desk. Here you can enjoy a comfortable spot with some privacy. 




11 m² Room Configuration


11 squared meters room sizes


For a space of 11 m² we proposed option 1: 


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (153x55x200 cm)
  • Double bed (176×218 cm)


And a small pouffe for sitting some green decor.  While room 2 offers the most storage out of all rooms: 


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (293x55x200 cm)
  • Double Bed (176×218 cm)
  • Two Bedside Tables (49x51x44 cm)


Finally, in the case of Room 3 you can furnish it with: 


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (153x55x200 cm)
  • Single bed – big (156×218 cm bed)
  • Dresser – big (84x55x70 cm)
  • Desk – big(140x500x75 cm)




12 m² Room Configuration


12 squared meters room sizes


Finally, we studied the possible solutions for a 12 m² room, which is also the biggest room out of all HMO room sizes presented so far. In this case, we positioned: 


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules (153x55x200 cm)
  • Double Bed (176×218 cm) 
  • Two Bedside Tables (49x51x44 cm)
  • Desk – big (140x500x75 cm) 


Room 2 is equipped with: 


  • Wardrobe – small (90x55x200 cm) 
  • Single Bed – big (156×218 cm)
  • Two Bedside Tables (49x51x44 cm)
  • Window facing Desk (140x500x75 cm)
  • Dresser – big (142x55x70 cm)


while still allowing tenants to have some more empty space. 


Ultimately we furnished Room 3 with: 


  • Modular Wardrobe – 2 modules ( 153x55x200 cm) 
  • Double bed ( 176×218 cm)
  • Desk – big (140x500x75 cm) 


We also inserted some plant decor and a small pouffe. It doesn’t take up much room but can be used for sitting or as a small table.




Optimising Your HMO Room Space


You’re probably aware that under the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2018 the minimum bedroom sizes for HMO’s are: 


  • 4.64 square metres for a child aged under 10 years 
  • 6.51 square metres for one person aged over 10 years 
  • 10.22 square metres for two people aged over 10 years 


But did you know that if the ceiling of any part of a room is under 1.5 meters the floor area under it doesn’t count towards the minimum square footage?


This is a common barrier many landlords come up against when preparing their property to become an HMO – often when a loft space is being converted into rooms for rent. If low ceilings are not accounted for this minimum room size HMO legislation can lead to a room becoming obsolete. 


However, there are ways to work around low ceilings and increase the maximum number of rentable rooms at your property. Here are a few options for making the most of the space you have:


  1. Rebuilding the ceiling space


It’s possible that the ceiling could be rebuilt at a higher level. You’ll need to speak with a specialist HMO architect, get plans drawn up and notify the local housing authority.

You should also consider how easy planning permission will be to attain, the actual cost of adjusting the ceiling height and rebuilding the walls to ensure it is architecturally sound. 

Finally, you should check if the increased rental value will outweigh the rebuild costs. 

If you’re working with a space hampered by two low ceilings you could consider converting the space into two smaller rooms. As long as they meet the required minimum square footage, this rebuild could gain not one, but two rental rooms.


  1. Splitting another larger room to meet minimum requirements 


Depending on where the room occupying the low ceiling is based, you may be able to knock through to a larger hallway, or to another larger room without cutting into the spatial requirements of that area.

Speak with an HMO architecture specialist to consider all options – you could be sitting on unnecessary space elsewhere, and some creative thinking might be all you need to restructure existing plots.


  1. Utilising the space for a communal space 


If you don’t want to take on the hassle and cost of rebuilding you could tap into the ‘working from home’ trend by making the room shared office space.

Although rooms in an HMO used for sleeping typically deliver higher rental yields, this shared space would allow you to charge an additional monthly premium on the existing rooms.  


In summary, there are a number of creative options to ensure you comply with HMO minimum room size regulations whilst ensuring you create an attractive property for the right tenant.

The key is working with a specialist who understands the market and can develop a space that accommodates their needs. 


Captivating design for a higher rent


The built-to-rent market has grown impressively in the UK during the last decade, allowing landlords to reach yields as high as 15%. This profit opportunity also means increased competition.

Landlords are forced to pay particular attention to HMO interior design and details. There are different benefits of focusing on design. The main one is that design-led interiors are more likely to attract quality tenants for a longer time.

This ensures that the rent will be paid and the bedroom won’t be vacant for long periods. Design can also be considered a form of communication, as it promotes well-being, feelings of relaxation and comfort.

All these elements are particularly attractive for room renters.

This is why the HMO Room Size Guide also includes suggestions, such as plant decor, wall lights, and furniture positioning.

Our architectural practice’s main concern is to design high-quality accommodations. We assist clients during the whole journey, even when it comes to small details.

If you are planning to develop or refurbish an HMO talk to an architect.

Our team will reach out to improve your tenants’ lives through better spaces.


10 Step Checklist To Prepare Your HMO For Tenancy & Maximise Cash Flow

Giovanni Patania

Giovanni Patania

(Architect Director, Co-Founder)

Giovanni Patania is the Lead Architect and Co-Founder at HMO Architect and Windsor Patania Architects.

Originally from Siena, Italy, Giovanni worked as a Project Lead Architect at Foster+ Partners, designing Apple stores across the world,

An HMO Investor himself, Giovanni understands property thoroughly, both from an investor's perspective and technically, as an Architect.

With over 15 years of HMO development experience, working on over 150+ HMOs and a 95% Planning and Building Regulation success rate, Giovanni has the expertise and credentials to help you on your HMO journey."



One Response

  1. Renting out an HMO isn’t quite the same as leasing out a single household property. Although the financial rewards can be much greater, HMOs can be tricky to manage, especially if there’s a high turnover of tenants.

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