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Are you providing the right HMO properties?

Decorus for Sage offers five steps to managing your house in multiple occupation (HMO)

Posted by Julian Owen | October 27, 2017 | Estates

Student accommodation is one of the most lucrative sectors in property management. Why? A three-bedroom home has the opportunity to house four or five students when converted into an HMO property. 

The increase of student fees has seen a shift in demographic; however, there is still a huge potential for offering value-for-money accommodation. The number of students opting for private halls has doubled in the past 10 years but demand for low-cost accommodation has also increased. The luxury lifestyle hidden inside purpose-built blocks can cost up to 90% more than living in shared accommodation for tenants.

With an exhausting amount of admin and paperwork involved when letting to students, is there a better way to do this? 

1. The legal side

What is a HMO property? A house in multiple occupancy is one with more than two tenants from different families sharing facilities such as kitchens and bathroom. Properties with five+ tenants over three storeys must have an HMO Licence which requires annual gas certificates, evidence of smoke alarms and health and safety for electrical equipment. New regulations are expected to be introduced in 2018 to improve the standards of HMO properties. 

2. Student expectations

The hundreds of high-end blocks built in recent years might have on-site gyms and cinemas but the majority of students don’t look for that when they are searching for their home. However, they are more demanding than they were in the past. Their number one priority is a fast internet connection. Washing machines, dishwashers and dryers are all on their list too. Don’t worry as they are happy to pay more rent for it but they won’t consider moving into a property without a microwave! You can no longer get away with run-down and poorly maintained properties as 85% of students expect appliances to be new but the increase in rent will cover your costs.

3. Property management

Today’s students also want more in terms of service. They have grown up with the internet and live in the ‘on-demand’ culture. Property maintenance apps give them the ability to log a repair from their phone effortlessly. This helps decrease the time it takes for a repair to be reported and acted-on, before it escalates into something more serious and costly. 

4. Admin

Technology saves time to provide a consistent service. When registering applicants, arranging viewings, creating tenancy agreements signed by all tenants and setting-up rent collection with direct debit can be done with one system, the move-in process can be completed with ease and transparency. Software dedicated to managing student accommodation is a solution for logging all the important information related to your portfolio from tenant details to inventory records, key logs and deposit details. With all of your data logged you will have the tools to work much more efficiently.

5. Marketing

Students don’t want their faster internet for convenience, it’s a way of life for them. They live on their phones, tablets and laptops. There has been a 17% increase investment year-on-year in the student market; it is becoming highly competitive. Occupying your properties is no longer guaranteed. There have never been so many opportunities to market your properties but with students constantly online it is essential to get your properties in front of them on their phones. There’s Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket but there are also portals such as StuRents and University Cribs, targeted specifically for students.  

Want to manage your HMO properties with a system that works for you, offers online convenience and saves money? Call Decorus for Sage on 0114 2307305 or visit www.decorus-pms.com for more information. 

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