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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Good Resource For All Round General Advice About HMOs?

    Hi Vanessa
    Regarding the issue of keys, with a couple of my properties I have now installed security coded front door locks which means that the tenants cannot go to a locksmith to get them cut. Copies of the keys have to be ordered by me from the locksmith. This has given me peace of mind that they cannot cut spare keys and also I do not have to change the locks when tenants move out. Just wanted to share that with you.
    Crystal
    Vanessa said:
    Crystal,As this is a 3 bed town house, does it not come under the banner of a multi-let as opposed to HMO?An HMO is, as a rule of thumb, "five or more unrelated people in a house of three or more stories". It would be worth speaking with your local HMO Officer to find out if you require a licence.You can order most of what you need from https://www.grattan.co.uk - they offer nothing to pay for six months and interest free credit for a long period, so it's a great way to spread the cost.With regard to tenant mix, I think a house of all females and all males work well. However, when you interview tenants, ask them what they would prefer to get a feel of the people you could put together.Always get next of kin details for each person - this is incase they disappear, become seriously ill, or go AWOL, as has happened to myself and other Landlord's.We had a chap who had a mental breakdown and disappeared from the house for two weeks without taking his keys, wallet, or mobile phone. He was later found wandering around Heathrow Airport and was "sectioned" by the police and put in a mental insititution! We had no one to call to let them know what had happened.Another LL I know had a tenant who was taken seriously ill after having a severe allergic reaction. He had to call an ambulance, and the tenant was rushed to hospital. The LL had no idea what had happened to him - whether he was even going to live or not, and no one to call to let them know or to find out what was happening and if/when the tenant would come back.Also ask prospective tenants if they have any medical conditions or are on any medication i.e. diabetic. I think that LL's have a right to know, so that we know what to do if they are taken ill.Be sure to state on your tenancy agreement that the room is single occupancy. Otherwise, they move in and then a few nights later the boyfriend comes to stay, and then that escalates into them moving in, which is not fair on you or the other housemates. You can take couples, but charge extra. I think couples can upset the dynamic of a house though.I also put in the tenancy agreement that they are key-holders and are not allowed to copy the key for someone else. I had a girl who copied the key to the house and gave it to her boyfriend. He started turning up at the house a 3.00 in the morning drunk, and waking up the other house-mates.Schedule a monthly meeting where you meet with the tenants for a cup of tea and sort out any problems they are having. It is far better to have an open and honest forum for discussion than let problems fester and escalate.Forbid smoking in the house. Put a bucket with some sand outside the backdoor for cigarette butts, otherwise they will be dropped all over the garden.Have a notice board in the house with the rules of the house to remind everyone. Make it clear that your only agenda is to provide a pleasant, clean, and respectful ambience for all.
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    Hi,
    Just going back to the bills. A system we found to work very well was that we pay the bills, but then we ask the tenant for a 'service charge contribution' on top of the rent which works out to be about what we pay for the utilities, tv licence etc. For example, we rent a unit at £90 per week, and ask for an additional £75 per month on the standing order to cover all their bills [except council tax as the council have said the little units we have created cannot exist under one dwelling]. This has worked very well for tenants [and us] and we have found them to stay a long time - far longer than what we would have originally thought at the outset [I'm talking years here not months!].
    Thanks
    Sam
    https://www.VirtualLetz.com @VirtualLetz
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