4 things Manchester’s student HMO landlords should do this summerMake Text Bigger
Summer is here and for many landlords, our student properties may be sitting empty until September! With Fallowfield and Rusholme house prices on the up, we’re looking at how can you keep your property ahead of the trend this summer!
The yearly migration of students leaving South Manchester and Salford has started and the majority won’t be back until September. In family cars packed to the brim, they’ll wave a teary farewell to their friends before posting a heartfelt “goodbye 11 Croke Close” Facebook post. But the job for you, the landlord of 11 Croke Close, is not quite done in the ever demanding world of the student HMO market.
As with many student heavy areas, the M14 postcode of Fallowfield, Rusholme and Victoria Park is positively booming, with property value up at +1.54%, where the average price for a 4 bed house is £243,000, and the average asking rent for a similar property is £1,324 pcm (Zoopla). Depending on quality and location of the property, that’s roughly an average rent of £80 per room, per week (Min. £60 – Max £120). How can you make the best of this situation?
- Security over the summer
As with many large metropolises, Mancunians have had to accept that a higher crime rate is all part of the urban package. Without sounding sensationalist, this summer you should reassess your property’s security as now is the time that criminals begin to take notice of empty properties.
As you can see from the graph, the rate of burglaries in the Fallowfield and Rusholme area starts an upward trend from July, so now is the time to start reviewing your security measures. Many criminals know that students move back home over summer whilst leaving their belongings in their student house, this means that your property which is full of white goods and student belongings could be a prime target!
The smart solution
The most obvious is keep an eye on your property. This could be a weekly check for any tell tale markings on the walls or doors of the property; a particular tactic burglars employ to identify targets. Ideally, the best way to keep burglars away is to have evidence that someone lives there. This someone may be a student or two staying on over summer, or, failing that, lights on a timer. Depending on your budget, it may be worth installing an alarm system. Nowadays, home security systems have become so sophisticated that you can operate them from a smartphone; there’ll be no need to drive out to cancel a false alarm! CCTV may be a step too far if you have live-in tenants, but faux-cameras can deter any interest.
This is another nuisance for locals and landlords alike. Quite often, with students checking out at different times and frantically cleaning, unwanted items get dumped for the landlord to clear up. As annoying as it may be, Manchester students and the universities have taken note and run initiatives to clean up the streets and ensure waste is disposed of correctly. The Give It Don’t Bin It scheme was hugely successful last year, with donations to the British Heart Foundation totalling £230,723 and the non perishable food donations providing 2000 meals for the food bank.
The smart solution
If you are left with recyclable or reusable items, donating them to the British Heart Foundation can go a long way. It may also be worth providing information for future tenants, or visiting them shortly before check out so that you and they know how you expect the property to be left.
Now is the time to get into the property and sort out any minor issues (major issues will hopefully have been sorted when and where they happen!).
The smart solution
- For tough to remove blue or white tack stains, try using a magic sponge.
- For any white or black damp stains, check out this video
- For any cracks in wooden surfaces, try using a good wood filler and a sanded and varnished finish.
- For carpet stains, try using a highly effective Rug Doctor.
There’s nothing worse for the time poor landlord to discover a completely overgrown garden come September. To keep the lawn in good shape you’ll have to mow fortnightly for great results come marketing and photo opportunities.
The smart solution
We’d all love a cheap and easy fix to a minimal effort garden but, as time consuming as popping over every two weeks may be, remember that a well kept lawn communicates to prospective tenants that you care and put effort into your property. Another solution to a more manageable garden might be a gravel grounding and potted plants. Over the non live-in months of the summer, gravel can be covered by a heavy sheet to keep weeds at bay, whilst potted plants will contain themselves to their pots. A good rosemary bush, or strawberry plant wouldn’t go amiss.
Smart property are a student and professional HMO property management and investment company. They offer their services across Manchester, Salford, Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham.
As well as their property management services, they offer a long term rent guarantee programme that Property 118 founder Mark Alexander found ‘so impressive’ he decided to invest in the company himself. Andy welcomes private landlords, developers and investors to talk to him and his team about property management, guaranteed rent, investment opportunities and block management contracts.
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