HMOs – or houses in multiple occupation – can be fantastic investments when managed wisely.
They can demand many times the attention of a typical rented property, and for that reason it’s not uncommon for landlords to seek help managing them.
But what actually goes into the management of an HMO, and why might a landlord want to seek this help rather than simply doing it themselves?
What is HMO management?
HMO management is, quite simply, the management of an HMO property. In the context of HMO management as a service, this is done on behalf of a landlord to save the time and attention they would otherwise need to dedicate to the HMO and its tenants.
This can sound like an impersonal or dismissive stance on the surface, but HMO management is often a wise and well-placed decision for a landlord to take. Landlords who have many other properties to manage, or other demands such as a full-time job, often cannot dedicate the appropriate time to an HMO.
Since an HMO is partly defined by the presence of at least three occupants who aren’t from the same household, any HMO property is going to involve a minimum of three separate tenancy agreements. That is in addition to managing the tenants themselves – for example, their needs as residents and the necessary admin – and the all the usual business of letting a property responsibly such as organising gas safety checks and ensuring good maintenance.
HMOs can be seen as a greater fire risk than standard residential properties, meaning there will be more cost to sink into safety measures like smoke alarms, fire safety doors (for the increased number of rooms), and other equipment like fire extinguishers.
HMO management can also involve needing to manage disputes within the HMO itself if problems arise between tenants. This can be common for any group of people sharing a living space, so landlords may find their skills in diplomacy and mediation being tested in situations that don’t have clear answers or resolutions.
More tenants mean greater use of facilities, which can lead to more frequent and costly maintenance of appliances, communal areas, and gardens. While there is some responsibility on tenants to keep the property clean and in good condition, that ultimately extends only as far as their agreement states, and in situations where every tenant leaves at once – such as may be the case in student HMOs – this leaves you, the landlord, with the task of tidying up in their wake.
HMO management is undoubtedly much more complex than standard property management due to the number of involved parties. Dealing with multiple tenants within a single property means many more opportunities for challenges and complications to arise, which can quickly tax a landlord’s energy when they compete with other demands for time and attention.
Do estate agents manage HMOs?
Yes. Estate agents are a great option for landlords who need help managing their HMO properties. In fact, estate agents can lend their services from the very first day, sourcing tenants and dealing with the necessary referencing to get an HMO filled as smoothly as possible.
Once tenanted, estate agents can provide ongoing HMO management to ensure that resident queries are answered and dealt with promptly. This can be vital in the case of emergency situations like boiler failure or serious property damage that needs fast repair. In such cases, a quick conversation between landlord and agent can set up the resolution and lead to fast action.
Left solely in a landlord’s hands, this would leave one person to ascertain the issue, seek out tradesperson quotes, and book the work for as fast as possible. Estate agents have the advantage of working closely with local traders like plumbers and builders, forming strong and reliable working relationships that mean situations are resolved quickly.
Estate agents can also provide landlords with advice to build their experience and fill in knowledge gaps. This means that while property investors have their burdens lightened with active help in the management, they are also building a strong base of knowledge and experience to help them make future investments wisely.
For those unsure if property management for an HMO would be a good choice, it’s always best to open a dialogue with a local estate agent and talk to them about their services. Find out what they already manage and what their chosen approach to property management entails.
HMO Property Management in Liverpool
The property market in Liverpool is more competitive than it’s ever been. Mistoria Estate Agents’ Liverpool team can help manage the demand of sourcing the right tenants for your student property, carrying out the necessary referencing, and ensuring that every last detail is compliant and to the very best standards.
As a cultural hotspot and a Northern Powerhouse city for the UK, Liverpool faces high rental demands that make student HMOs a truly worthwhile investment – with the right management behind them. HMO properties need more attention than others, but their returns are far greater in exchange.
Our services provide peace of mind to landlords, freeing up your time and focus for other demands. As members of the National Landlords Association (NLA) and under regulation by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), you can rest assured that your HMO is left in safe hands.
To find out more about HMO management with Mistoria Estate Agents Liverpool, call us on 0151 317 5383 today or fill our online contact form.