A Very Efficient Guide for Landlords, Especially When Renting Student Homes
Published on Saturday, 16 June 2012
Are you a landlord with houses to rent? If you rent out your property to large groups of people or to students who share one house, you have plenty of responsibilities and things to take care of and maintain. If you are new in the renting out business, you can follow a few tips for easier managing. When you rent out property as student homes, the first thing you need is a license from your local authority, which you are legally obligated to have. If your house is a house in multiple occupation, you must comply with the license. An HMO property is one which is occupied by 5 or more tenants and offers 3 or more storeys.
Ensuring that your houses meets the required standards
When you license your student homes as HMOs, you have to guarantee that the specific standards are met. Health and safety are two of the most important aspects of any lease agreement and as an HMO landlord, this becomes even more essential.
You have to ensure that the fire extinguishers and the fire fighting equipment are always available and that the fire alarm is in good working condition. You're also responsible for all safety, running water, electricity and/or gas. You need a gas safety certificate and to always make sure that the tenants know how to use gas appliances properly - boiler, cooker or fire. These should be checked every 5 years and have a certificate for safe working order.
Providing your tenants with clear terms
Tenants in student homes should know the terms of their tenancy agreement or contract. These terms state their rights and duties. The agreement also states the due dates for rent and potential notification dates for eviction. If you don't want any future quarrels, be 100% clear about the terms and charges - for utilities, repairs, damaged appliances, etc. Decide upon a period of being notified in the case of any damage or necessary repair - this period should be at least 24 hours. State any conditions on having pets at the property. If you want a peace of mind, simply forbid the tenants from having pets at the student home.
Turning your property into a students' home is a risky business, but it generates profit and good reputation. A landlord has the right to inspect the property as often as they find it appropriate and needed to. It is impossible to control everything that happens under your house's roof but through regular inspections you can at least keep an eye on things. These inspections should happen at least once every 2-3 months with a one-year lease and once every 5-6 months with a lease longer than one academic year. This is the time to check the condition of the furniture, appliances and how clean the place is. It is, after all, your property, and if you want to rent it out long after, check it out on a regular basis.
Other things you should do when you rent out your house is to provide each tenant with a rent book and contact details. Renting property to students is a great way to earn some income, but you need to be a good businessman and a good landlord too. In order to save yourself from potential issues in the future, make sure your property, your rights and the tenants are always protected.
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