10 best ways to find HMO tenants

10 best ways to find HMO tenants

10:47 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago 41

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What’s the 10 best ways to find HMO tenants? 10 best ways to find HMO tenants

Currently I have a HMO with two rooms unlet and normally get all my tenants via Spareroom.com but at the moment I’m getting nothing.

What other forms of marketing can I employ to find my tenants locally?

1, advertising classifieds
2, post cards in windows
3, board outside property
4, poster in local hospital
5, Poster at local Airport
6, Poster at Local University

Any other ideas?



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:53 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi John

I'm not a HMO landlord but a couple of obvious omissions from your list are:-

1) Advertise on Gumtree

2) National-Lettings.co.uk will put your advert of Rightmove for a fiver subject to you agreeing to refer your tenants back to them for referencing. They charge tenants £89 for this. They also offer a good rent collection service which, subject to satisfactory referencing, pays you rent on the due date whether your tenants pays or not. Details on their website. NOTE - for transparency purposes I should point out that members of my family are investors in this business. I am not a shareholder but I do have a non-exec position on the board.

The other thing that occurs to me is that if you're not getting enquiries you need to take a look at your advert and your pricing.

Elizabeth Bax

11:04 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

I'd agree with Mark, if you are getting nothing there is something wrong with your ad ifyu are getting responses and can't let, that's something different - there's something wrong with your property, my phone is off the hook with Spareroom and 10's of emails a day for days.. I gave up on GumTree years ago, far too many scams going on and your ad gets cloned by rogue agents and you have to contend with calls from agents as well. Am I the only one who doesn't charge tenants for anything at all? Nothing for referencing, nothing for Contract, it seem that there's a whole businesses on the back of tenants, I do find it rather distasteful.

Robert M

11:07 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

What part of the country is the property located?

What type of HMO tenants do you accept? (e.g. students, professionals, DSS, low paid workers, etc).

I have a waiting list for my rooms, in both locations I operate in, but have also been through the Spareroom.com route of advertising in the past but with limited success, so I changed my strategy and now I don't have enough properties to meet the demand. My HMOs are in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and Worksop, Nottinghamshire, (but I also have some self-contained properties in other parts of the UK as well).

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:11 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "06/06/2014 - 11:07":

That's interesting Robert, so how did you build that waiting list? Surely you must do some marketing?

What type of tenants are your target market?

I appreciate that it wouldn't be hard to build a waiting list of dropouts, just one call to the local Council would probably achieve that. How would you go about building a waiting list, say for your professionals though?

11:24 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Very interesting.

I have fallen out of favour with GumTree and got much better results with SpareRoom.com lately so I am surprised to learn of your lack of success through that advertising channel.

One way to fill rooms is to incentivise out-going tenants to ask among their friends, work colleagues, and FaceBook etc to find another tenant.

You can also offer incentives in your ads such as "pay only 2 weeks deposit" or 25% discount off first month's rent.

However, with the demand for rooms such as it is, like others, I feel that there must be something wrong with your room or the price point to not have attracted any interest.

Elizabeth Bax

11:34 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "06/06/2014 - 11:07":

v central London - I don't 'do' DSS, only european students not homegrown ones, and most properties are self contained studios - small - I did do couples, but now find it's mainly single people so my rent hasn't really changed much over the years - all working (I always think that a professional woman sounds like a prostitute, so don't ask for professionals and everyone thinks they are anyway from waiters to accountants) - when.

I am regularly phoned for accommodation but rarely have anything as people stay, I let immediately on advertising, and I get referrals and tenants return. But back to the original post, Spareroom is my advertising of choice.

A waiting list is just weird, I've no idea who will leave and when they will leave.

Robert M

11:38 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "06/06/2014 - 11:11":

Hi Mark

I specialise in letting to DSS tenants, and I remove the barriers that they face in trying to obtain accommodation, e.g. I do not charge application fees etc, (so in answer to Harlequin Garden, NO, you are not the only landlord that charges no fees).

I used to advertise on Gumtree, and Spareroom.com, and also on a Sheffield based local forum website, but I found that the quantity and quality of enquirers was not always sufficient. I now mainly get referrals from local agencies who help those in housing need, and/or word of mouth referrals from existing residents. (referrals from the local council have not been very good, so I very rarely accept these). The agencies I get referrals from know to only send me people who they assess as being potentially good HMO residents, and this is working reasonably well. Of course with all DSS tenants there can be a number of problems with the Housing Benefit system, but I can usually resolve these (or prevent them from occurring). I also use licence agreements rather than tenancy agreements, and this makes it much easier to manage the occupancies and evict residents if necessary (quite rare).

I currently have 42 HMO residents (100% occupancy), and I have 9 people waiting for a room to become available. I don't usually have that many people waiting for rooms, it's usually 3 or 4 people waiting for rooms from me, but I've had a lot of referrals and recommendations in the last couple of weeks.

Robert M

11:43 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Harlequin Garden" at "06/06/2014 - 11:34":


The question about location and type of tenant was actually meant for the OP (John), as it affects the type of advertising and general approach to letting HMOs that may be suitable for him.

11:49 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

@Robert Mellors

Congratulations on your efforts Robert. It seems you have very robust strategies in place that work for you. Always inspiring to hear a success story. Bravo!

Elizabeth Bax

11:55 AM, 6th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Yes, an impressive business, I still don't quite get the wait list, but there we go. The only time I've every had DSS has been when the tenant has lost their job, and it's always been an absolute disaster, and this was pre the new regime of capped benefits, I couldn't even entertain it now as my rents are way above this amount - I also don't like tenants hanging around all day, they get into mischief.

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