Ask Lorraine – We have been landlords of 2 apartments for 6 years now and have always had fantastic tenants. My husband talked me into adding to our portfolio and we are now running a HMO. Wow, what a whole new ball game!
The HMO is our former much loved family home, we always had top of the range fixtures and fittings and it was possibly much nicer than other HMO’s.
Our problem is that my husband seems to be at the property every week sorting issues out. Last night a tenant texted to say that the corner of the marble worksurface in the kitchen is badly chipped. Infact he states that he found a rather large piece of marble on the kitchen floor which he’s left on the hall table, should we need the piece to repair the worksurface.
We cannot understand how this could possibly have happened, surely this is not down to wear and tear?The problem is that it will be very difficult to prove who actually damaged the worksurface and to charge them.
Best Wishes Lily
Lorraine’s Answer – Hello Lily
You have my every sympathy, renting out your own former home is always a recipe for disaster. No matter how careful the tenants are, they will they be harder on it than you ever were.
One piece of advice – make it nice for them but don’t go to the same expense as you would your own home. Tenants may not deliberately damage your things but as they haven’t had to pay for them the they won’t normally have the same feelings towards them.
The problem with HMO’s is that you cannot prove which resident damaged anything in the communal areas, so basically the landlord has to carry out the repairs and swallow any costs.
You’ve probably already found that running costs of a HMO are much higher than that of a normal AST type tenancy. If you are carrying out weekly repairs it may be in your best interests if you do your sums and decide if running a HMO is still good for you. After all you are running a business!
With the added costs, come the legislation on HMO’s, these are a minefiled for even seasoned Landlords, maybe a headache too far?
Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your property journey.
Until next week
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