Many people when looking to invest in an HMO are happy to pick up a property listed as being under market value because it needs work done to it. This is a great way of making yourself a long-term profit because, of course, there are plenty of builders out there only too happy to take on a commission and your property will be worth far more once complete.
Trouble is you have to be sure you’ve hired the right builder in the first place – otherwise you could find yourself severely out of pocket. That’s because (a) he may do a botched job and you need to hire another builder to repair the mess or (b) the company may overcharge by introducing ‘added extras’ as the project proceeds. Choosing the wrong builder could also be dangerous of course – collapsing bricks and mortar can cause a lot of serious injury.
But it’s not only your pocket or limbs that hiring the wrong builder can hit. Just think of the mental stress too when you realize things aren’t working out the way you expected them too. It’s crucial therefore to spend plenty of time researching local builders. But what do you need to look for?
Most of us who went to university or college have done it – lived in a hovel. We probably shared it with at least three others and laughed amongst ourselves at the peeling wallpaper, overgrown garden and dated 70s furniture.
But living in an awful flat when you’re a student doesn’t have to be a rite of passage. After all, owners of HMOs are under the same legal obligations as other landlords (more actually) in ensuring their property is habitable and safe to live in.
However, many HMO landlords still seem to be getting away with providing shoddy accommodation if a report issued by the Local Government Association (LGA) in June this year is anything to go by.
Their survey highlighted the fact that 500 HMO landlords in England and Wales are taken to court and prosecuted every year for letting out sub-standard accommodation (the majority of which is rented out to students). Some of those cases listed in the report included a missing fire escape on a three-storey high building and another property with no front door lock (as a result strangers would wander in to the house).
Whether or not to sign up with the National Landlord’s Association (NLA) is a question every landlord and potential property investor asks themselves at some point. You’re probably already a member of several associations as it is and the last thing any of us wants is to get more unsolicited mail landing in our inbox or on the door mat.
Staging your rented property (ie painting, decluttering and furnishing it temporarily so that your prospective tenant can see how cosy/spacious/gorgeous it is) can bring you in up to one fifth more income, according to some property experts.
That’s a lot of money and well worth going to the effort of sourcing a reputable home staging company or even borrowing some nifty furniture from friends during the viewing period of your property. According to those in the know not only will staging mean you’ll rent your property quicker but you’ll also have to spend less time seeking out prospective tenants and showing them round (not to mention the cash you’d have to spend on marketing via online and printed adverts). And that’s well worth the financial investment alone we reckon here at Property Go-To Girl. Here’s home staging explained a bit further for those of you who are considering the concept.
In the past they may have received a bit of a bad rap, but today those on housing benefit in the UK are treated with a bit more respect - thanks to the fact the recent recession forced many respectable individuals and families onto the mercy of their local benefits office and food bank.
This means that, on the whole, the ‘class’ of housing benefit tenant has gone up too. You’ll find these are individuals who like to keep a clean home and are respectful of property – so forget the 80s image of the booze-raddled drug addict and unemployed loser who regarded vandalism as an amusing past time.
I'm Jacquie the Property Go-To Girl. I am passionate about property. I love to help people make the most out of their property investments!