As a landlord, it can be hard to determine the needs of your tenants. Often, an HMO or a rental attracts young business people, which might not be the most relatable demographic. Designing a shared living space is all about practicality, durability and making it feel like home. After all, you want your tenants to be happy and stay as long as possible. So, here are some great ways to create a shared living space.
Fitted furniture specialist Hammonds conducted research surrounding house share culture. They found that 10% of those surveyed avoid cooking when they share a kitchen. What’s more, they found that we’re a nation of convenience lovers, spending an average of £53.30 a month on takeaways. This rises to £71.80 per month for those that live in London, where over 20% of Londoners avoid cooking in a shared kitchen. With this in mind, focussing on the quality of your kitchen space is essential to get your tenants cooking.
Providing plenty of usable space in your kitchen is the key to happy tenants. A small kitchen that lacks workspace is unlikely to cater for everyone living there. So, where possible, provide plenty of worktop area, allowing all the tenants to comfortably cook there.
Adding a decent amount of cupboard space is paramount. According to the survey, the average British person cooks 4 meals a week at home. So, there needs to be ample space for food, crockery, and cutlery. Plus, there must be plenty of space for each tenant in the communal fridge and freezer. If you’re designing an HMO, be sure to check out the regulations before you start.
Hammonds’ research states that those in the 25 – 34 age bracket admit to having five takeaways per month, spending £65, compared to just 1.5 and spending £28.60 from those aged 65+. These results are staggering, but all the more reason to make your living area inviting. If your tenants are having a takeaway in the living room, you want them to feel at home. Provide plenty of soft furnishings, storage and a large TV for them all to watch together.
Often, shared accommodation will come with ensuite bedrooms. However, if your space doesn’t allow for this, you must consider your shared bathroom design. It’s worth investing in a shower and a bath if your tenants have a preference, a large mirror and plenty of storage. Offering a cupboard per tenant means they can keep their bathroom items and towels out of their rooms, giving them more usable space. Consider using materials that are easy to wipe down in your bathroom such as tiles, as this makes the space easier to clean.