Strood: An Untapped HMO Location?

WE have been doing some research into HMOs within the Medway Towns and thought we would give some time to writing about Strood, which we feel is something of an untapped location when it comes to HMO.

Before delving into some statistics we thought we'd share an interesting article about one large unlawful HMO within Strood which was previously converted for up to 20 tenants but deemed unlawful and has recently had an application to turn the property into 4-6 flats.

The Kent Messenger explains that:

According to the plans, the site on Hillside Avenue, was subject to an enforcement case in 2018 where it was deemed to have been used “unlawfully” as a “large-scale” house of multiple occupancy with up to ten rooms and potentially 20 tenants.

You can read the full article here and view the planning application which was submitted in March here.

Whilst we thought that the above was an interesting article, it really did get us thinking about Strood as we feel it could have a significant amount of untapped potential. Particularly given how Gillingham and Rochester are potentially becoming saturated, this could be one to watch.

The location and existing HMOs

Here are some key headlines in the existing HMOs within Strood:

  • A total of 11 licensed properties (around 5% of the total for Medway)
  • There are 66 licensed rooms across the area
  • HMOs are clustered in the more northern half (near Frindsbury), however some are more towards Strood centre

Licensed HMOs plotted on a map

An overview of HMO rooms available on SpareRoom

What’s interesting about the SpareRoom map below is how it reflects a several HMOs further down south and a quick check through the listing outlines how these probably don’t need license.

Because it’s untapped with minimal competition and relatively near fantastic amenities, in our opinion, Strood makes for a good location for investors considering their first property or looking to expand.

Some key reasons Strood is a great location include:

  • High speed rail links into central London in just 33 minutes
  • Excellent proximity to Medway Maritime Hospital
  • It is a city estate including a large number of smaller local employers and with those wishing to benefit from Local Attractions/Amenities
  • Lack of good, high-quality rental rooms on the market. Looking at spare room rooms available Strood has the lowest number compared to Rochester, Chatham or Gillingham
  • Medway city estate nearby creates increased demand for properties in the area

Where should investors focus?

We thought it might be helpful to sum up with an outline of where we would recommend investors focus if they are considering an HMO in Strood and the map below illustrates this, with the green section being where we’d recommend and the red section being where we’d suggest avoiding.

Certainly this does not mean that an HMO would not work in the red area, but we would recommend leaning towards the green area as you are likely to have a more profitable and easy to manage property.

Whilst this is a bit of a whistle stop tour, as ever we hope you found it helpful!

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