HMOs offer a wide range of advantages to landlords who take them on. For one thing, quality accommodation that’s close to transport and urban areas are always in high demand, which makes it far easier to find tenants versus typical letting arrangements.

However, the upsides of a HMO can soon turn sour if you fill its rooms with undesirable occupants. That’s why it’s crucial to know the tell-tale signs of awful tenants before you begin the search. Want to discover the most common red flags to help you separate good tenants from the bad? Keep reading!

Poor Communication

First off, be wary of tenants who are elusive, hard to contact, and bad at responding to your messages, emails or missed calls. Now, there could be legitimate reasons for their poor communication (family issues, work responsibilities, and so on). But it may also indicate traits of forgetfulness and unreliability that wouldn’t bode well for the future.

For instance, think about the practical implications of being unable to contact tenants when necessary. It’d make everything from arranging safety inspections to seeking permission to come and do routine maintenance work a real problem. Moreover, that lack of communication would make it harder to trust your tenants and forge a positive professional relationship with them too.

Missed Appointments

Missed appointments and problems with punctuality are similar red flags to look out for. Not only is it annoying to be stood up, but it could also be a sign of things to come (especially if they don’t provide any fore warning of their absence or lateness).

It reveals something about their priorities, tells you a thing or two about their time-management skills, and suggests a level of disorganisation that you may not want in your property. As much as anything else, though, it demonstrates a lack of respect for your time! Who’s to say they’d respect the property to a greater degree?

A Lack or Absence of References

References are a cornerstone of finding suitable tenants for any property. After all, the information you glean from them helps qualify your first impressions, validate the tenants’ backstory, and highlight potential issues in the process.

For those reasons and more, try to avoid students whoa) can’t provide any references or b) are reluctant to do so! In both cases, you could welcome someone into the property who’ll cause nothing but trouble.


Politeness, respectfulness, and great interpersonal skills are all important attributes to look for in prospective tenants. There are never any guarantees, of course. But each attribute suggests these guys and gals would get on well with other leaseholders, look after your property, and pay their rent without any trouble.

By the same token, evidence of impoliteness or disrespect should be taken seriously. If these negative qualities come across in your initial meetings (when you’d expect people to want to make a good impression), then it’s reasonable to assume things wouldn’t improve in future.

Avoid These Red Flags for Your Student HMO

Student HMOs are hugely popular types of property among landlords. And for good reason! They deliver a host of benefits in terms ofboth practicality and cash. However, the real secret to making this a soundinvestment is to fill it with the perfect student tenants. With any luck, thered flags that we’ve highlighted in this post will help you do exactly that!

Would you like professional support finding suitable tenants for your student HMO? Well, as room marketing experts, we have all the skills and industry-experience to promote your listing, screen prospective tenants, and send quality candidates to your door. Contact us today to find out more.