Top 5 Tips To Eliminate Void Periods In Your HMO

In this complete and ultimate guide to HMO property, we give you the principles on of HMO property from A to Z.

Void periods is a serious headache for HMO landlords sometimes. While they are undoubtedly part of running a buy-to-let business, there are things you can do to minimise the risk of being caught up in an extended void period, and avoid the associated costs as well.

We have prepared a few useful tips for HMO landlords in this article, but first let’s find out what void periods are and the impact they can have on landlords big and small.

What are void periods?
Void periods are periods of time when an HMO is left unoccupied and, therefore, not bringing in any rental income for the landlord. Avoiding void periods should be a top priority for anyone who is renting out an HMO property.

Keeping Long-Term Tenants

It’s easy to understand why minimising void periods is in your best interest. To avoid them altogether is impossible, but you can minimise them to some degree, and one of the best ways to do it is to keep your good residents long term.

There are many ways you can do this, even though a lot will depend on the tenants and the relationship you have with them, but some of the simplest ideas include:

1. Be a Good HMO Landlord

It sounds like a no-brainer, but many HMO landlords sometimes neglect the simple fact that people will be more comfortable dealing with someone professional and gentle. Treat your residents as you would like to be treated yourself and remember that what is a business for you is a home for them. Respect your tenants and make them feel comfortable.

2. Communicate

Talking to your tenants and building a good working relationship will help break down the barriers between the two of you and encourage frankness and transparency. Communication is also important to keep your tenants informed about any upcoming changes that may happen in the future, such as their tenancy coming to the end, etc.

HMO Tenant Referencing

HMO Tenant Referencing

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3. Offer a Longer Lease

We all know that finding good tenants is one of the hardest parts of renting an HMO, so when you do find some perfect residents it makes sense to keep them for as long as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to offer them a longer lease.

For tenants currently on a 6-month contract, the important next step would be to offer them a year. And if your tenants are already committed to 12 months you could certainly offer them a 24-month contract and see what happens. If they say yes you will have another 12 months taken care of.

HMO Bedroom

4. Invest in Your HMO

Keeping your HMO in good condition can help minimise the length of time it stays unoccupied. Concentrate on the obvious areas, like bathrooms and kitchens, but don’t forget to keep the other areas shipshape as well.

Nowadays tenants became more discerning and their expectations of what a good HMO looks like has increased. Be sure to make your house as good looking as possible.

5. Don’t Be a Scrooge

The biggest mistake made by HMO landlords, especially the beginners, is charging too much rent for a property that simply doesn’t worst it. This can often be caused by poor research on the landlords part when buying the property, but potential tenants won’t care about the fact that you didn’t run the numbers correctly!

Do a good research of the area, and current market value for your particular HMO property type will allow you to offer a good reasonable price without charging too much, or leaving money on the table.

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