Everybody’s journey to becoming a successful HMO landlord has one thing in common:
A steep learning curve!
Mastering the ropes of this multi-faceted role takes time, effort, and a good dose of trial and error. The result? It’s natural to make a few mistakes along the way.
That being said, some errors have more seriousconsequences than others and knowing about them ahead of time can save you aworld of trouble down the line! Do you want to learn all about the worstmistakes HMO landlords make so you can steer clear of them?
Allow us to help. Keep reading to discover 5 mistakes to avoid as an HMO landlord.
Forgetting to Screen Tenants
The struggle’s real when it comes to securing 100% occupancy in an HMO! Because tenant turnover’s so high, HMO landlords often find themselves in a perpetual hunt for new leaseholders. And with cash flow on the line, the pressure to fill those empty rooms can soon begin to mount.
Unfortunately, this leads many landlords to rush (oreven forgo) the tenant screening process. Instead of asking key questions andverifying the tenant’s personal information, they cross their fingers and hopefor the best! This may fill the room faster, but it leaves ample room fortrouble at the same time. You inadvertently open the door to nightmare tenants, costly evictions, and soon.
Forgoing Essential Maintenance
As you know, maintenance work goes hand in hand with owning a property- especially older ones! Whether the boiler breaks, mould forms in the bathroom, or a bedroom needs a fresh coat of paint, there’s always something that needs doing. The secret to success? Getting those repairs and replacements sorted ASAP.
Staying on top of maintenance issues is the best way to prevent them from getting worse. Trust us, a minimal investment of time and money up front could save hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds down the line.
Putting Off Evictions
Very few HMO landlords revel in the thought of evicting tenants. After all, aside from the emotional implications, the eviction process can be long, arduous, and expensive. However, it’s also a vital means of reclaiming rooms from troublesome tenants and finding more suitable occupants for the space. For all of these reasons, delaying the eviction process is rarely a good idea.
If you have legal grounds to evict someone, then itpays (literally) to serve them notice and get started ASAP. Be sure to educateyourself on what’s involved, though, and confer with a lawyer if you’re unsureof your legal responsibilities.
Failing to Knowthe Law
Countless HMO landlords get into trouble each year because they don’t know enough about the law. For instance, some landlords are unaware that their property qualifies as a House in Multiple Occupation in the first place! They fail to get an HMO license as a result, which leaves them vulnerable to fines, prosecution, and Rent Repayment Orders.
As you can tell, legal ignorance can have dire consequences. That’s why it’s imperative that all HMO landlords invest in their understanding of the law. Once again, if you’re at all uncertain about any of your legal obligations as an HMO landlord, then it’s worth consulting with a lawyer.
Vetoing Professional Help
Last but not least, many landlords veto the idea of paying professional services to help run their business. Determined to do everything themselves, they run around from one job to the next, desperately trying to chase peoples’ rent, make repairs, evict bad tenants, and find new ones to fill empty rooms. Spread too thin, many landlords struggle to perform each duty to the best of their abilities and risk burning out in the process of trying.
Now, this isn’t to say that expert support is necessary for success. But it would make your life ten times easier. For example, a professional marketing firm, like ours, can market your HMO rooms on industry-leading platforms and soft-reference prospective tenants so you only hear from suitable individuals. You better your chances of 100% occupancy with minimal effort on your part.
Avoid These Mistakes as an HMO Landlord
The road to becoming a successful HMO landlord is rarely straightforward. It’s one long learning experience, with no shortage of ups and downs. However, the journey gets far harder when you make critical errors along the way!
With any luck, the mistakes we’ve covered in this post will help you avoid that eventuality. Strive to steer clear of them and your life as an HMO landlord’s sure to feel far easier.