This is probably the one thing that most investors don’t think about and that they don’t pay any attention too, and that is the refurb, yes it starts here. If you are not going to spend the money on your refurb you will be paying double over the next couple of years in maintenance. We see this on a monthly basis, those who have paid for good quality products have little to no maintenance throughout the year. Those who tried to cut corners to save on costs will see big invoices from maintenance. What does this have to do with Voids, well if you use poor quality, it breaks quickly and within 6 months the house starts to look tired and that will affect your viewings to the house and the type of tenant that the house attracts.

Here are a few pointers on what we feel is necessary when buy/refurbing and then furnishing a house to a new HMO:

  • If you have or plan to purchase an HMO, please make sure that you have en-suits, because people are not keen to share a bathroom anymore. 
  • Please make sure that your house flows well and that the spaces that you create is warm and welcoming
  • Refrain from cramming as many people in the house as possible. This doesn’t work anymore.
  • Paint neutral colours, certain colours are making a comeback and dare I say it certain shades of magnolia seems to be a hit with some landlords.
  • Make sure that the furniture that you are using is good quality, I can’t stress enough that this is the ‘make or break,’ this is what tenants will see first and continue to see, it will be the motivator for them either taking the room or not. 

The following is equally important:

  • Check that your lettings agent knows what they are doing. Many agents don’t chase rent arrears. Or are just not bothered and therefor are not chasing.

  • Make sure that the photo’s that you have displayed is current, yes we all what to put our best foot forward, but there is not much worse than getting to a house and the room doesn’t look like the photo.
  • Make sure that the dressing in the room is of this century, we have seen houses where there are garden furniture in the rooms and ornaments that will make my grandmother proud.
  • This might seem obvious, but make sure that your house is in an HMO area. You can also read this guide for inventing in Stoke on Trent to know where is the best spot to invest property to let. 
  • Again, might be obvious, but we see this all the time. Make sure that your agent can manage HMO’s. It is completely different from a single let and the management of a house like this is considerably higher.

You may also read: 12 Top Tips for Choosing a Letting Agent

  • Future proof your house, see what other landlords are not doing and then make sure that you are doing it. For example, make sure that you have en-suits in your rooms, have a communal area where you can work and socialise in.

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