I’ve been asking myself this question since 2007! Fuelled with the Buy to Let phenomena and a month after having my 3rd child my husband decided that we just HAD to have some investment property. I like houses, I like curtains and period features so I thought it’d be a good day out to nosey around someone else’s house. Somehow between then and a year later, we owned 4 houses with 20 rooms between them. I keep racking my brain as to when I said “yes, this is a brilliant idea”, but figure it’s a bit like the 60s were to my parents (blurred). HMOs are NOT for the fainthearted, but they are fun and you need to be hands on!
Who is the HMO market?
Whenever investing in buy-to-let all the property pundits stress KNOW YOUR MARKET. Who is likely to want to rent your property? Typically your tenants are likely to be:
- Transient and foreign workers
- LHA claimants (Local Housing Allowance)
- Low paid workers
But whoever wants a room, remember, it will be all they can afford! When I started out I had no idea who would want to rent a room in a shared house with complete strangers. The first property came fully tenanted with a Spanish waiter, 2 South African nurses and a Polish couple. I now have around 50% LHA claimants, 10% foreign workers and the rest are British workers. There are people who will probably be with us for the rest of their lives, others who are saving hard but mostly people who want to pay an all inclusive rent so they can spend the rest of their disposable income on dating and beer!