HMO Room Rents - how do you break down rental costs or dont you bother ?

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  • #16
    I agree with Bel.

    I have a 6 bed licensed HMO which is only let to students, although I have let and managed other rental properties.

    We try to upgrade the property in some way each year to keep ahead of the competition and ensure that we can fill it with a good group of joint tenants who live together 'as a family' and are to some degree responsible for each other's behaviour. That works better than putting together random recruits, in my experience (I've done both). We provide wall-mounted TVs in bedrooms, good quality mattresses & covers, dishwasher, tumble dryer, large capacity washing machine, secure bike shelter, etc. I don't provide a deep fat fryer and would be reluctant to.

    However, if you want a group profile to avoid, consider this one., The groups I now tend to steer clear of (although they are often the first to apply) are what are known in student circles as 'rahs' (hoorah Henries?) and in many ways could not be more different from the benefit-claimants so derided by OP. 'Rahs' are typically privately-educated, loud, overconfident to the point of arrogance, spoilt and unaware of the value of money (Oh, don't talk to me about the rent - Daddy will pay you), careless with your property ('But it's only a TV, for God's sake! And we were very drunk'), often smokers and serial partygoers. Worst of all, the way they speak to people is appalling. I showed one such group round when I was still in my decorating overalls and was shocked by their attitude; it was slightly more respectful when they dsicovered I was a teacher, but not much - teachers and decorators clearly exist only to service their needs...and Daddy pays. They tend to seek each other out (actually, they all knew each other before at Bedales or wherever), so you don't just get one in a group, you get six. Nightmare. I only wish their parents could hear them, sometimes.

    By far the most successful groups we've had (apart from our own daughter and her friends!) have been ordinary kids from families where the parents are proud that they've gone to University, but expect them to manage their own money, treat others decently and take care of the house. The ones who will clean it occasionally and make an effort when they know you want to show groups round for the year after.

    Some LLs are willing to let to any group of 'bloody students' and provide a miniimal standard of accommodation on the grounds that 'they'll only trash it anyway'. I find this attitude (ie that all students are the same) just as insulting as the view that all benefit claimants are the same. Among tenants entitled to JSA or LHA, Family Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Child Benefit, etc., there will be a range of 'profiles' and imo it's not helpful to generalise in this way.

    Perhaps all we can say is that we want tenants who are like us...normal!
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #17
      oh i wouldnt go so far as to say breakages are deliberate. Mostly wear and tear and ignorance.
      A normal washing machine would last 5 years with one or two people doing 2 washes each a week. With 7 to 10 people it would last one to two years. you always get the one lodger who washes every day, or the one lodger who washes their friends clothes as well. So most things like mops, buckets, brooms, washer, dryer, tap washer will need replaceing 7 to 10 times faster...

      DRAINS....£4.50 a bottle with two uses. costs £25 a month to keep the drains unblocked and its worth doing cause with 7 to 10 people pouring oil, rice, etc down the kitchen drain it can be costly to get a proffessional in. The lime scale remover is £20 a month ..if you dont do it at the end of the year you have a headache. Many other costs i wont bore you with.
      Additionally out of those 10 lodgers she is bound to get 1 female , once a year, who will block the toilets with napkins. No matter if their bins provided or not.
      A cleaner at £3 per head is £30 a week. Send her to me....costs me to do the shared areas roughly that is, about £60 a week, and i only have 7 people at most.
      Spring cleaning, ...........the poster has not taken into account the cost of degreasing and washing kitchen walls every 3 to 6 months.... takes a good 8 hours...let alone spring cleaning the passages, and cleaning the grout in 4 bathrooms. bank on over £500 pounds a time.

      I want to know what other hmos do about all this cleaning because i am tied to the house and not happy about it. I can hardly start lodgers to scrub ceilings and do spring cleaning, and clean ovens etc.

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      • #18
        I didnt say all claimants are alike. i specifically said i dont have females because they usually have kids and are housed by the council and working females without kids normally stay at home with parents. so that rules out half the population claiming. Now another portion would be couples claiming, which i dont accommodate. Another portion would be the youngsters on jsa.......... A HUGE PROBLEM with friends and parties and groups of kids outside your house, comming and going at all the house of night.
        The mature males which come way and who i tried to consider in the age goup 38 to 60, seem to have drug, alcohol and mental problems. either i am unlucky like i said, but i dont thinks so. THey can afford the higher rent because they are on disability and or long term sick so they get more money than someone on jsa. I always ask to see their assessment papers to see if they are potentially violent. I have to weigh up if someone with a physical disability can get up 3 to 4 floors without me making adjustments. Usually i cant and dont want to make that many adjustments. I have to think of their carers coming over..more people in the house, and just cant be bothered any more interviewing anyone who isnt working.
        I have not interviewed a mature male on jsa, as straight away they have no deposit. I have interviewed youngsters on jsa as their parents will sign guarentor. The first thing is they arive with about 4 friends to view. They get excited and talk about hang out nights and bless one youngster was gutted to find out he coul not bring in his 4 ft speakers. They get bored in the day time and tend to hang out at whatever house/flat/room they can for company, and that is usually with other unemployed people. THAT IS THE WAY IT IS. That is being realistic , thats not discriminating.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by justdoitviv View Post
          They get bored in the day time and tend to hang out at whatever house/flat/room they can for company, and that is usually with other unemployed people. THAT IS THE WAY IT IS. That is being realistic , thats not discriminating.
          I did not say you were discriminating; I said you were stereotyping everyone on benefits:

          Originally posted by justdoitviv View Post

          If i took in unemployed person i could fill my house and my neighbours and have a waiting list. working persons who go to bed at night and those on benefits DO NOT MIX. You can not have an intelligent working person sharing a kitchen with a person on benefits who would normally have alcohol, drug, mental problems. Persons on benefits can not get the deposit together, are home all day running up the heating bills, and tend to mix with their same kind, and you will land up with a doss house for the unemployed with social problems.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            I would live in Buckingham Palace, if it was me.
            I've been in Buck House, and I wouldn't live in it. The bedrooms in the main Palace were like Fawlty Towers.

            Lots of Ozzies doing their year in the UK working as junior staff.

            Twas there for a staff Christmas Party, complete with Pipe Majors in Kilts and the Gay Gordons.

            This was about 1990. I went a couple of times and then my cousin married herself off so the vacancy vanished.

            The flats above the Royal Mews are nice, though.

            So is the free parking when visiting + shopping.

            ML
            Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

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            • #21
              I think it might be quite fun to live in Fawlty Towers.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              • #22
                I've enjoyed reading this post. A real insight to an HMO.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by justdoitviv View Post
                  Spring cleaning, ...........the poster has not taken into account the cost of degreasing and washing kitchen walls every 3 to 6 months.... takes a good 8 hours...let alone spring cleaning the passages, and cleaning the grout in 4 bathrooms. bank on over £500 pounds a time.

                  I want to know what other hmos do about all this cleaning because i am tied to the house and not happy about it. I can hardly start lodgers to scrub ceilings and do spring cleaning, and clean ovens etc.
                  You sound like a brilliant LL who is not appreciated

                  I suspect that many HMO kitchens are not as clean as yours.

                  When my daughter moved into her uni halls I spent 2 hours cleaning the ensuite bathroom while she bonded with her flat mates; the grouting probably had not been touched since they were built. And many students probably wouldn't notice.
                  All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                  * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                  You can search the forums here:

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Bel View Post
                    Y

                    When my daughter moved into her uni halls I spent 2 hours cleaning the ensuite bathroom while she bonded with her flat mates; the grouting probably had not been touched since they were built. And many students probably wouldn't notice.
                    I agree, but you can bet that if she left them as grotty as she found them, the uni would have charged her for cleaning them.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                    • #25
                      From my experience HMO properties are a complete nightmare, lots of management, lots of vacancies, lots of damage. They can work but need constant suppervision and are best stayed away from unless you do this as a full time job.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by hech123 View Post
                        From my experience HMO properties are a complete nightmare, lots of management, lots of vacancies, lots of damage. They can work but need constant suppervision and are best stayed away from unless you do this as a full time job.
                        I disagree, certainly as far as student HMOs are concerned. They are slightly higher maintenance than non-HMO rentals but most of the year you can just leave them in peace and they you. The potentially stressful points are when you're trying to recruit a new group for the year after (if the current ones leave the house looking like a badger's sett), and the weekend in between one tenancy and the next, when there's extreme cleaning to be done.

                        The upside is that they are much more profitable (up to three times more so) than a property of the equivalent size let to a family.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                        • #27
                          Student HMO's are dead get out whilst you still can! They are moving firmly towards very large professional student blocks from big companies, everyone can see it. Areas are slightly behind depending but this market is well on the way to saturation, get out now!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by hech123 View Post
                            Student HMO's are dead get out whilst you still can! They are moving firmly towards very large professional student blocks from big companies, everyone can see it. Areas are slightly behind depending but this market is well on the way to saturation, get out now!
                            Half agree. There's a fatal flaw, though.

                            All these hall-blocks are signficantly more expensive than trad student shared houses - to the tune of £90-130 a week vs £50-90 (+£10 for utilities).

                            Students are not stupid, and can see that they are being made into cash-cows.

                            And they will not *all* be living in those unless it is a matter of enforced contract.

                            Meanwhile, Council zoning policies are making student houses a scarce resource in many places, so (for other reasons) it may be a good time to sell.

                            I don't expect this market to vanish overnight.

                            Rather, I'd predict the current gung-ho anti-HMO council policies to continue for a few years then hit the reality wall.

                            Student housing will only be damaged badly if the charge rate for communal halls drops to the same price range, or if the student population falls very significantly.

                            ML
                            Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by hech123 View Post
                              Student HMO's are dead get out whilst you still can! They are moving firmly towards very large professional student blocks from big companies, everyone can see it. Areas are slightly behind depending but this market is well on the way to saturation, get out now!
                              Sweeping generalisations arte unhelpful.

                              In some cities the universties are being leant upon by the councils to build tower blocks for students, yes. It does not mean that students will choose to live in them, apart form in their first year. The majority of second and third year students in most cities see living in a privately rented house or flat as a rite of passage; they have had enough of being rammed in like sardines in blocks of flats with other students and paying through the nose for the privilege.

                              And numbers will continue to rise, among international students if not home-grown ones.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                              • #30
                                Student application numbers are actually falling - http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/se...univ-s06.shtml This is going to get worse, costs of a degree are spiralling out of control and it is ending up that people will be so much in debt they will not be guaranteed anything from achieving a degree.

                                International students may help but depending on immigration as the trend is to tighten and student visa's have had a bad press over the last 2 years, very bad.

                                This is not a generalisation, what is going to happen in my opinion is that this market is going to become very very tricky. An excellent point by midlandslandlord about the price difference but what I am seeing is these large residences being built to the point of over supply, I have also noticed prices in these coming down as the competition gets tough.

                                Most student prefer to be in these places with better security, all their friends, new buildings etc.. These prices are already dropping and will continue to do so, these companies are very rich and another important factor is that they are purpose built, very very important. What else can they do? They will reduce and reduce until they let them as they can not start housing 5 people families.

                                From my experience I have seen halls that were 100% let running this year at 50%. This hall was owned by a housing association with tens of millions at its disposal, please tell me what they will do? reduce, reduce, push. Do not try and compete against these big guns, you are silly to do so. If you can not see it coming look again, its time to leave this market.

                                Again an excellent point about HMO's being reduced by councils, the problem I see with this in many areas as there is already an over supply of HMO's. Once a lot of the Eastern Europeans started to leave the UK there became more HMO's than people that wanted to live in them.

                                Universities are pushing students into these halls, big companies are over supplying them, please take a look at where this is heading and have a back up plan as there costs will come down, basic fundamentals, over supply.

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