HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) Maintaining Communal Area’s

Posted on 15/02/2023 by Categories: News

Communal area cleaning is an important aspect of living in a house of multiple occupancy, whether it is a “roommate” situation in a “shared housing” arrangement or a group of individuals renting “rooms for rent” in a “house sharing” setup. The importance of keeping communal areas clean is not just a matter of hygiene and comfort, but it also plays a vital role in maintaining a positive and harmonious living environment for all residents.

In a “multi-occupancy” or “co-living” setup, residents have to share common spaces like kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms. This type of living arrangement has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young people and those seeking more affordable “rental properties” in urban areas. With more people sharing limited spaces, it is essential to have a cleaning routine in place to keep the communal areas in good condition.

In an “apartment sharing” scenario, it can be challenging to coordinate cleaning duties among multiple “housemates.” However, a clean and well-maintained communal area can lead to a more pleasant and stress-free living experience for everyone. A cluttered and dirty communal area can create a negative and unpleasant atmosphere that can negatively impact the living experience of all residents.

One of the benefits of living in a “group living” setup is the opportunity to form close bonds with other residents. Sharing common spaces and participating in cleaning tasks can help foster a sense of community and responsibility among residents. A well-maintained communal area can also be a source of pride for residents, creating a more positive and welcoming environment for everyone.

A clean and well-maintained communal area is also essential for health and safety reasons. Kitchens and bathrooms are prime locations for the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Regular cleaning and sanitizing of these areas can help prevent the spread of illness and disease, making it a safer living environment for all residents.

In a “house sharing” scenario, it is important to establish clear rules and guidelines regarding cleaning duties. All residents should be aware of their responsibilities and the consequences of not upholding their end of the bargain. A rotating cleaning schedule can be a good way to ensure that everyone takes turns in cleaning the communal areas. Alternatively, residents can also agree to hire a professional cleaning service to maintain the communal areas.

The right management of communal area care will lead to retention in tenancies and the ability to shift vacant rooms quicker.

One of the clients we work for is Moovahome Rooms, a Swindon agent who manage over 120 HMO rooms under management in the town. We asked their director Ashley Cain what tenants expect in 2024. ‘HMOs have evolved in my time! When I started out in 2003, three rooms shared a poxy shower room, WIWFI was an unknown word and communal space consisted of a brown chair with a hole in it and threadbare carpet folded over holding the lounge door open. No days, the product (homes) offer hotel like facilities. 1000mg broadband, en suite shower rooms, chill out areas and home working spaces are massive pulls for the modern day renter. Ages of tenants have increased too, with people sometimes not being fortunate to own a home until their 40s.

Despite all the services on offer in a modern HMO, nothing will rent if cluttered and above all dirty.  Having conducted 1,000s of viewings I can assure you we would struggle to rent a home unless its 9/10 condition when showing someone. I know it sounds crazy that figure, and we all want 10/10 but realistically its impossible to get that 24/7 with 6/7 people sharing a kitchen and lounge. In 2023, we changed out HMO cleans to solely using So Fresh & So Clean UK Ltd, the standards have all gone up and we know on our weekly checks of the home we won’t need to pull up the cleaning. That peace of mind has erased the need for my team to visit a home before a viewing just to ensure the place is clean.

Another factor for HMO landlords is the licence with the local borough. One of the requirements is ‘regular’ cleaning – somethings we insist on is weekly. We have found landlords trying to push this back to bi weekly but with the desired standards and number of households, its rare for a HMO to remain high end if cleaning is made less frequent.’