It is understandable that you would want to treat your first HMO as you would your own home. You would want to put a few 60 inch TVs in there, a nice reclining sofa and maybe even a few bottles of good Irish Whisky within reach.
The problem with this notion is that you are thinking of your HMO as your own home – which it is NOT. This is your place of business. Unless they allow people to have reclining sofas and whisky breaks at your office, you should not have any of those things at your place of business either. Here are some good tips on how to furnish your HMO.
Get good quality seats that are neutral in colour
As much as you may like to, there is a very good chance that you will not be able to control the weight of the tenants you get. Buy seats that could comfortably accommodate an anorexic model just as easily as it would a 14 stone man.
What about the material?
You have probably realised by now that there is no need to get all posh about this at all. You do, however, have to provide your tenants with something reasonable. For that purpose, we suggest that you get material that is:
- Hardy in nature (think canvas).
- Neutral in colour like beige or black.
- Machine washable.
Just make sure that these items are sturdy enough to suffer some abuse.
What about the appliances?
For the most part, most landlords provide the basics such as a fridge freezer, a cooker and a washing machine. But in order to make the place a bit more attractive towards tenants, you can also provide them with other necessity/luxuries like a toaster, a microwave and a TV. Although this would probably attract better tenants, you will be responsible for getting them PAT tested each just so you are absolved of any blame should these things catch on fire at whatever point.
What about beddings?
You will probably have to supply the beds as well as the mattresses. You are not, however, obligated to provide the beddings. In fact, some people don’t like using the standard issue beddings. You are advised, for your own sanity, to supply mattress covers and insist that all your tenants use them. In fact, have it stipulated in the contract.
Bear in mind that when showing a room to a potential tenant, you should take the time to spruce it up and make it look welcoming. We are talking about beddings, lamps, candles and even some flowers. Of course, this is all for show, but it gives the tenant a slight idea of what the room might be like if they decorated. As far as you are concerned, however, these tips should help you learn how to furnish your HMO without breaking the bank or going crazy. It is all about practicality and cost-effectiveness.
I’ve already mentioned about property events in my previous blogs, but it might be worth mentioning again. Property events are good ways to meet other HMO investors who may have sources on where to buy standard appliances you’ll need at a bargain price. So if you are wondering how you can save more money on expenses, attending these free events may get you some helpful leads.
The two events I’ve mentioned before are the PIN meetings of Simon Zutshi and the Community Meetups of Rick Otton, because these are meetings that happen each month, in different locations. So if you missed the event near your place, you can always sign up for the following month without any problem.