Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have been traditionally linked with the student market, but this could be changing according to a leading Letting Agent in Southampton.
What is a HMO?
A House of Multiple Occupation or Occupancy, is a property that is rented by at least 3 people who are not from the same family or “household”. The occupants each have a bedroom but share facilities such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Who is your target market?
With 40,000 students arriving in Southampton annually HMOs are always in high demand, to the point of student over capacity. Although the student market is a very buoyant one, Belvoir, a Lettings Agent in Southampton explain to us how there has been a shift in this market in their recent YouTube video: http://youtu.be/wp9jYtSLSWQ.
A rise in student fees and an increase in overseas students has seen a decline in the demand for the older, more traditional properties with “woodchip paper”. The construction of new halls of residence in Southampton has also had an effect. However, the demand for student HMO properties is still there, it has simply shifted with the preference now being for a one to two bedroomed unit with modern fixtures and fittings.
Are traditional properties finished as HMO?
Not at all! All that is required is a little investment to make the properties work in today’s student market. Students are now expecting streamline modern properties with modular, space saving furniture. Student tenant demand is there for a practical property with the right look.
Are there any other alternatives for HMO?
Indeed there are! There are always options with property. Belvoir Lettings, inform us of a new wave of tenant coming to the HMO market: http://youtu.be/pM8yyBwsJZ0, professionals.
HMOs are now attracting professional tenants between the ages of 25 and 35, providing that the configuration of the property is right. They will be expecting en-suite bathrooms and possibly a communal lounge area along with a larger kitchen. Some investment to get the layout and style desirable will give great income potential.
The professional tenant will tend to stay in the property, with the added advantage of them knowing a potential tenant should a vacancy arise. With the professional market you get a higher occupancy rate with a good quality of tenant who will look after the property.
Do HMO Landlords have a bad reputation?
In Southampton and many other cities, local governments are running schemes to tackle rogue and irresponsible landlords. The introduction of licensing fees is increasing the standards of HMOs as well as allowing authorities to combat antisocial behaviour noise and waste issues. This sector of the property market is improving all the time.
“There is definitely an opportunity” says Brian Linehan of Belvoir Lettings in Southampton.
It is an exciting time for the HMO market with the security and income opportunities on the rise as it takes a swerve into the professional market.
Visit http://www.belvoir.co.uk/letting-agents-southampton for more information and advice on letting properties in Southampton.