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HMO and student landlord advice

We have spoken before about the life of a student landlord, but here’s a little bit more advice for those considering becoming a student or HMO landlord from a specialist landlord utility provider.

We have written before about there new utility service for landlords

Advice on student & HMO landlord problems and how to avoid them

Like any business, being a landlord has its pros and cons, but by being mindful of problems before they arise, profitable yields can be maintained through good times as well as those less prosperous times.

While none of us are able to guess every issue that will arise as a landlord, we can keep shocks to a minimum by employing some safeguards.

1: Finding and keeping the best tenants.
Solution: To really get the best tenants you will need to stand out from the crowd. Consider developing a shop window for your properties i.e. a simple website, and use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In and Twitter to advertise your properties. Having a clean, recently renovated property will help to secure the contract as will offering a bills-inclusive service to reduce admin and make life easier for your tenants. Be mindful that potential tenants often ask current tenants questions during viewings. Landlords who deal with issues promptly and to the tenants’ satisfaction tend to get replacement tenants the quickest. Sometimes spending a little extra and going beyond the call of duty will help you to retain the best tenants who pay on time and take pride in where they live.
Landlord Problems

2: Being billed for utilities.
Solution: A bills-inclusive service can combine all bills for your house or your whole portfolio of properties. Choosing your bills-inclusive provider carefully can minimise the risk of you having to foot a bill at the end of a tenancy. Look for one that offers a ‘risk free bills inclusive package’ for landlords. In the event of over use, they will bill the tenants directly, omitting the need for you to get involved and removing any uncertainty.

3: Ensuring all legal requirements are covered.
Solution: HMO’S, gas safety certificates, fire alarms, landlord insurances and so on, are enough to push most people to despair. The simplest and most straightforward solution is to get organised and embrace Excel. Developing a system from the start with dates clearly marked against each property will keep you on top of your legal requirements and negate any nasty surprises.

4: Using trusted tradespeople.
Solution: Using the same reliable tradespeople across all your properties will allow you to negotiate better rates and save you time shopping around when things inevitably go wrong. If your property is in a new area, don’t be afraid to ask the neighbours for local recommendations or utilise one of the many websites which allow you to read reviews before committing. Even insurance providers can be more competitive if their products are used across multiple properties.
Going through a credible letting agency who will manage the maintenance for you is an option but be aware that there will be costs associated with this, both visible and hidden.

5: Getting hit by unforeseen expenses.
Solution: Thinking long term and having a contingency budget in place is the best place to start and make those undesirable bills for broken boilers and new appliances much easier to swallow.
Try to save a little of your income yield every month and when the time comes for repairs negotiate hard and shop around. Remember that making the property safe and clean are the top priorities. Forget the extra trimmings or you can quickly wind up paying a fortune when you have multiple properties to manage.

To discover more about bills-inclusive services, which are designed for landlords of HMO properties visit

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