Most people can agree that the best way to manage your HMO is to do it yourself. But more often than not HMOs are High maintenance. With this, most investors will prefer their properties to work for them rather than them working for their properties, therefore, the best way of achieving this is with HMO lettings management company.
Letting agents are fit for:
- Investor buying an HMO property outside their area
- investors seeking to grow your HMO portfolio
- Investor, looking for a good source of income but still want to spend their time with their family than tenants.
But before you hand over the keys you must ensure that you are handling to the right agent who will make you money rather than cost you. The following questions will help you understand whether the agent is a winner or not:
1. Is the agent VAT registered?
It’s good to know whether the agent is VAT registered because if they are not, you are relieved to pay them a VAT on top of the management fee. Going for a non-registered will generally save you the 20% extra money that you could have paid to the VAT registered agent.
2. Do they have referee: current clients and can they put you in touch for a testimonial?
A good agent must be willing to let you talk to their previous or current clients for you to understand their work through other clients’ experiences. This will be good and honest feedback and you can easily tell whether they are right for you or not. IF an agent is not willing to give you details of their current client you should keep away from them. Generally, if they did or are doing good work, they should be more than willing to put you in touch.
3. Does the agent understand the HMO legislation and compliance?
Residential properties can be very hard especially with the legislation duties like registering the deposit and serving notices. Getting this wrong can bring heavy consequences especially with the tenants.
For HMOs, the legislation is even more complicated and the potential Agent must understand it all.
With this, you need to be sure that the agent you are going to assign to manage the property is not only familiar but also able to do all the necessary legislative requirements regarding the HMOs.
Even better, if you go with an agent who owns HMOs they are likely to know all the legislation and the related requirements on running one.
They should understand the normal legislation and understand family houses letting. On top of that they must understand:
- HMO Planning and article 4
- ASTs or licensing
- Fire regulations
- And safety certificates
If the agent in question is not familiar with all these then you should NOT let them manage your houses. Generally, you must ensure that the person you are to work with understand and are comfortable about the requirements before you hire them. Failure to that, you might end up spending more and losing more time than you could have to manage your HMOs yourself. Make sure your HMO lettings management company is right for you.