The news is filled with stories of terrible landlords who have not protected their tenants and have been handed hefty fines as a result. But if you let out an HMO property to students, reputation is everything. Students will tell their friends about the service they have received in your property, so the way you have treated them can be the difference between achieving 100% occupancy and not.
Keep Up To Date With Legislation
In recent years, landlords have been faced with a flood of new legislation, all aimed at raising standards in the industry. Keeping up with the latest laws requires a lot of effort, but ensuring compliance will keep your property in top condition, make your tenants happy and raise your profile as a reputable landlord.
One particularly contentious piece of legislation introduced last year was the Tenant Fees Act, which prevents landlords and agents from charging most letting fees and caps tenancy deposits. Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to £30,000. Further legislation set to be introduced this year includes MEES (Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency), changes to CGT (Capital Gains Tax) and Article 4 Directions and possibly, the abolishment of Section 21. You can find out more about all of these changes in this blog post. As these regulatory changes occur, landlords should ensure they remain on top of them, alter their contracts accordingly and keep their tenants up to date on any changes which might affect them.
Keeping your tenants in the loop is key to communication, which is itself crucial when it comes to building your reputation as a landlord. One of the most common complaints amongst tenants is that they do not have sufficient contact with their landlords and feel like they cannot bring up their issues and problems, which then go unresolved. To ensure that issues in the property are fixed quickly and that your tenants respect your investment, building up a good rapport is vital. Show that you are different from other landlords, by showing that you care about your tenants’ welfare and happiness.
For professional landlords, direct contact with tenants may be unfeasible. However, if you employ a reputable property management company, they can ensure that your tenants receive all the information they need to enjoy their time in your property.
If a tenant reports an issue to you, you should aim to resolve the problem as quickly as practicably possible. Not only will this keep your tenant happy, it will also ensure that small issues don’t become considerably bigger. What might initially appear to be a minor inconvenience, could in fact be a sign of a far more pressing issue, which, if not resolved, could lead to irreparable damage to your property.
By fixing issues when they arise, your property will remain in good condition and you’ll save money later down the line. If your tenants see that you are willing to take good care of your property, they will be more likely to do the same.
Keeping up with the latest legislation will allow you to provide a safe and comfortable home for your tenants. Tenant safety should be your top priority at all times. Regularly check that your property’s carbon monoxide and fire alarms are in good working order and that all electric and gas appliances are signed off by an approved inspector. Since April 2018, it has been a legal requirement for landlords to employ a registered gas engineer to check a property’s gas systems. Tenants should be supplied with the resulting report within 28 days. Thanks to new legislation, properties will soon also have to be inspected for electrical safety every five years.
Clearly then, making sure your tenants feel valued is the key to success. Doing so will pay dividends, as tenants who have had a good experience in one of your properties will pass on a good word to their friends, ensuring a steady stream of new tenants each academic year.
At the Mistoria Group, we are specialists in high yielding HMO properties in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton. Please call the team on 0800 500 3015 to discuss the North West investment opportunities we have available. Our properties regularly achieve combined yields of 13% and 100% occupancy rates.
We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.