8:22 AM, 18th July 2022, About a month ago
When I tell people I’m the managing director of a property investment franchise specialising in HMOs, I’m often met with scepticism. Scummy, rogue landlords profiteering off younger generations, robbing them of an opportunity to buy their own home. Landlords are bad, greedy people, tenants are anti-social, destructive and will never pay… or at least that’s what you may have been led to believe.
Working inside the Platinum Property Partners community over the last nine years has shown me a totally different side of the PRS and opened my eyes to how incredible the sector could be if great landlords were more encouraged and supported to provide quality housing and superb customer service as opposed to demonised and ridiculed, made to feel pushed out of the sector.
The fact remains, the UK has a fundamental housing shortage and whilst that’s the case, landlords deliver an essential service.
Tired of all the changing legislation and worn out with the ongoing political threats to tax changes, some amateur / mature landlords are certainly debating an exit.
Whilst this could lead to a loss of available housing, as properties get bought up as second homes or holiday lets, this could also create an opportunity for tired properties to be refreshed, modernised and raised to a more future-proof standard for the benefit of renters.
Older properties being brought up to modern, environmental and safety standards are positive for the industry and should be encouraged by government.
With the increase in energy costs and the general cost of living, demand for shared living has never been higher, with Platinum landlords exceeding 96% rolling occupancy across the network of over 6,000 rooms. For those living on their own for the first time, or based short term in any given location, shared housing removes the concern of unpredictable costs every month, providing a more accessible and affordable option than single occupancy properties and home ownership.
The house share model also gives people the opportunity to create community, reducing the risk of loneliness in a time when we are less connected than ever before (new research by Ipsos UK and King’s College London found that 3 out of 10 UK adults say they are feeling lonelier now than before the pandemic). A housemate of mine recently relocated and upon leaving sent me the following message ‘…good news is that my new job will be starting this year… bad news is that this is the initiation of my notice… I absolutely love it here and everyone in the house, they’ve been a big part of my life and recovery over the past year and I am sad to leave everyone.’
We have moved away from the old model of going to school, landing a lifelong career and retiring with a healthy pension. Younger generations are demonstrably more inclined to travel, chase experience and build multi-faceted careers requiring a more nomadic lifestyle. Those people chasing a dream career and flexible work/life balance need a suitable housing solution; good quality, affordable house-shares cater perfectly for this way of living.
As Ben Beadle stated in the recent article ‘Next Incumbent of No.10 needs to address the PRS supply crisis’, we need a strong and vibrant private rental sector offering a wide variety of options for different people at different stages of life, before they choose to become homeowners. Shared houses could absolutely become a leading model in the PRS, sensibly regulated to safeguard housemates and demand high standards. The future of shared living could see an incredible re-introduction of newly improved homes – leading the way to regenerate older, more tired properties, bringing them up to standard and offering a great place for people to live.
Alongside working to maximise what we have with regards to existing property, as a country we need to continue to focus on creating a good mix of new and affordable space to further what’s available and start tackling the shortage of supply.
Platinum has been pioneering best practice for shared living houses for 15 years, we’ve supported over 400 Franchise Partners to build incredible, long term sustainable businesses and we will of course continue to support aspiring, new and existing landlords to deliver high-quality, future-proof shared houses to the market for renters.
Our mission is to change the HMO landscape – one shared living community at a time. By supporting each other, sharing best practice within the industry, and continuing to learn and grow, I believe we can truly set the standard for the future of HMOs, until the tired old misconception about HMOs is no more.
Previous ArticleAbsent Owner and Nonpayment of Management Fees?
Next ArticleWindow opening onto a neighbour's shared courtyard?