Arthur takes a look at what’s involved in managing an HMO effectively for students
Make sure the price is right, have a look at what similar HMO’s advertised are asking and compare this with what you are offering. You don’t want to overprice or lose potential income through setting the wrong price & risk having empty rooms. Get in touch with estate agents and carry out thorough research online to look at the competition, check pricing in relation to whether rooms are en-suite or whether the bills are included. This can be an attractive package for tenants, especially in an HMO when people don’t always know each other and can be a hassle to organise so within this market it is a great selling point. However, be wary that tenants may take advantage of this, or not take note of their energy usage and then you are left with a very high energy bill…
Design and Facilities
Effective and attractive interior design shown at its best in photographs will make sure your HMO stand out on websites, it will also shape who your advertisement is aimed at, be it students or professionals. When targeting students, be creative with storage and layout, don’t invest in expensive furniture that could be damaged. Take note that overall standards are increasing- HMO’S appear more interesting and there is an increase in demand for en-suites. In this market you are competing against private student accommodation providers, where standards are very high in terms of modern facilities, but you do have the advantage of being cost competitive. A clever trick could be to remove the sitting room and create an extra bedroom which increases revenue, many HMO’s put a sofa in the kitchen which makes it the social area. Additionally you could combine kitchen counter space as a breakfast bar, effectively using space while making it interesting. Who doesn’t love a bar in their kitchen, not to mention students in particular?!
Reference checks, deposits an guarantors
The professional manner in the way you do this reflects the type of tenants you will have in your property. Make sure you carry these out so you don’t have any risky tenants or financial issues with your tenant which can be a nightmare!
Inventories and Inspections
It is essential these are listed and photographs are taken care of the whole HMO in case money is needed to be taken out of the tenants deposits and the end of their tenancy. You could go and invest in an app that will take an electronic documentation of inventory and supporting photographs.
To keep tenants happy and not be bombarded with work orders make sure you have any maintenance issues resolved before the tenants arrive or you may see them leave if they have to deal with continuous problems. It is worth providing a folder with all appliance instructions and maintenance numbers.
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