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Can HMOs be made attractive to tenants worried about Covid?

The HMO market is buoyant, not over-saturated, and it can survive suspicions from tenants worried about Coronavirus.

That’s the view of Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of property management businesses HMO Heaven and Rent 2 Rent Success.

“In my experience, the people claiming the HMO market is saturated have sub-standard properties in the wrong areas or don’t have any HMOs at all – just unsubstantiated opinion. To me, it is clear that the HMO market is buoyant not saturated” Taylor asserts.

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Her comments follow a claim by the Yomdel PropTech firm this week, which says its analysis of the market shows tenants becoming more focused on single or family occupancy and not on shared households.

Taylor says there are four tips for HMO landlords that can make a big difference in marketing and letting their units.

A workable workspace - “Now that people are more likely to be working from home, having a desk, an attractive work area and fast broadband is important. If necessary, add extra lights to ensure the workspace is well lit, and ask an electrician to add a few extra sockets if needed so laptops, phones and other work paraphernalia can be plugged in and kept charged.”

As much kitchen storage as possible - “Ensure there are enough kitchen units to provide suitable storage and include a fridge and freezer. It’s surprising how many landlords don’t supply enough kitchen cupboards. If your kitchen is small, look at clever ways to maximise the storage space – there are loads of ideas from places like IKEA. Thinking about the little things that make life easier can make a huge difference to your tenants.”

Additional wardrobe space - “While you can’t change the size of a house without major works, you can increase the storage and make it feel more spacious. Simple fixes like having two wardrobes, or adding shelving (for example, above doorways can be a great way to add extra storage space) can make a big difference. No one wants all their ‘stuff’ on display, so make it easier to tidy it away.”

 

First class service - “This is the one that will make your properties stand out. From the first viewing to moving in, be proactive and attentive. Once they have moved in, don’t think that’s your job done! Look after them, make the experience of living in your property one they will remember and cherish. This helps housemates stay longer and also leads to more referrals.”

And Taylor concludes that if you get these four points right, "you’ll have fewer voids, your business will be more profitable, and you’ll have happy group of house-sharers."

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    My ex tenant was £4300 behind in rent as no payments for 3 months. Also damage caused. property manager put in for retention of bond and the tenant then disputes on ground of financial hardship, WTF he wants his bond back!!!! As he has now put a blocker on the arbitration process & I now have to get a court order just to get the bond released. Absolute joke but the CCJ will be worth every penny. Just seems the Law is totally one sided.

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    She's correct. I mean how can the HMO market be saturated when every town is a market in it's own right and unique to it?
    We manage about 100 rooms and they are 100% occupied for the first time. I've run out of rooms to meet the demand.

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