Here at IPM we understand that for landlords managing a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) can be challenging at times. With several tenants sharing one property, various issues can arise if proper management strategies are not implemented, so we’ve put together some top strategies for effective HMO management of your student property in Lancaster:

Choosing the right tenants:

One of the most important aspects of effective HMO management is selecting the right tenants. Making sure that as landlords you are using a lettings provider (such as IPM) that follow current legislation and best practice when advertising/viewing properties. As well as issuing leases, securing guarantors, collecting, and holding deposits, in addition to completing the necessary right to rent process.

IPM’s letting partner Escape Campus are dedicated to ensuring all our managed properties are let, with all processes and practices followed with a view to securing a committed group of tenants and sustainable tenancies. IPM aim to let our managed student homes to students that already know each other, get on and are happy to share a student home. This arrangement most often secures tenants that ensure a sustainable tenancy moving forward.

Students that have chosen to form a household, can often benefit the landlord, as most often chosen groups are more willing to support each other when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your property. They often cook together, recycle waste, and have a shared sense of personality which increases compatibility. From experience, there can be times when households have disagreements over cleaning, utilities etc, therefore having a shared sense of community with the student home is a key aspect.

Set up the property:

To ensure that your HMO is a comfortable and effective living space for tenants, it is essential for all landlords to set up the property correctly. IPM start this process by ensuring all our managed Lancaster student properties are accredited with Lancaster University Homes and where necessary licensed by Lancaster City Council. Complying with these HMO schemes helps ensure that all the IPM managed properties are fully complaint with the 2004 Housing Act and other health and safety requirements, and space standards. This includes ensuring that all the bedrooms meet minimum size requirements, sufficient shared living space, and that both the kitchen and bathroom facilities are adequate for the number of tenants.

Included in this is also having enough wheelie bins and recycling boxes for the household, enough kitchen cupboard and fridge/freezer space for all tenants. Additionally, IPM use these schemes to ensure that all properties comply with health and safety regulations, such as smoke/heat detectors, fire alarm systems and testing, emergency lighting and call points, as well as the installation and location of fire doors, blankets and clear fire exists. IPM take the stress of these compliance issues from you so you can take a back seat and relax.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning:

Regular cleaning and maintenance are key for keeping your Lancaster student property in suitable condition, as well as providing a safe and healthy environment for tenants. IPM usually encourage our tenants establish a good cleaning routine early on within the tenancy. Once a term, IPM send our cleaning team to the property to clean communal areas and reported back any issues. This initial clean is free of charge as it’s covered by IPM’s inclusive package. Where necessary, the IPM team will liaise with the household and ask that they work together to clean their property, if it is still left in an unsuitable state, we ask the cleaning team to return and charge the tenants for the clean.

It’s important that tenants aim to ensure that communal areas are cleaned regularly, and repairs are reported to the IPM team. At IPM we have a contractor that attends to all day-to-day repair requests with related costs covered by IPM (up to the price of £100) as part of our inclusive package. Any maintenance issues can be reported to IPM via phone or email (01524 928328 – We also provide 24/7 emergency service for tenants to contact during out of office hours for any emergencies.

For properties that have panel alarm systems installed, IPM work alongside tradesmen to ensure that all fire alarm systems are tested weekly. For smaller properties without panel alarm systems, IPM visit each property at least once a term to ensure all smoke and heat alarms are functioning correctly.

Build and Manage Effective Relationships:

An essential part of HMO management is building successful relationships with tenants and effective communication. Managing properties/tenancies are partnerships that require support and work from all parties. The inclusive package we offer landlords work to promote positive relationships with landlords and tenants through comprehensive repairs, cleans, certification, regular testing, a fair energy allocation, TV license, broadband and insurance. As all these services are included within IPM’s inclusive package it reduces any risks for tenants and landlords. Choosing the inclusive package IPM offer removes stress that can often come with being a landlord.

Staying on top of Finances:

All IPM landlords know exactly how much rent they will receive for their properties aside from the cost of insurances and services etc, as IPM make a formal written rent offer. Landlords have 2 fixed costs that they need to be aware of being deducted from their known income each year, this is the water bill and a £200 contribution towards summer cleaning costs. Other than this, most of our landlords keep their stated rental income, meaning they can budget their finance accordingly.

Most of IPM’s managed student accommodation in Lancaster is let 9-10 months ahead of the next tenancy commencing. This allows our landlords to plan ahead and budget any known costs, such as mortgage costs and planned maintenance. Landlords are paid their rent each term (3 annual payments) which again, can help with budgeting and working out rental income.

Compliance Regulations

IPM employ an excellent experienced team of housing professionals, as well as a dedicated health, safety, and compliance manager. They inspect and monitor IPM’s student properties and liaise directly with Lancaster University Homes and Lancaster City Council to ensure all properties remain fully compliant.

It is of upmost importance to make sure that all property certificates and renewal dates are monitored, which IPM do on your behalf as part of our inclusive package. HMO mandatory certificates include HMO licensing every 5 years, accreditation every 3 years, fire risk assessments, gas certificates, EICR 5-year electric certificates, electrical PAT testing, energy performance certification, fire alarm certificates and emergency lighting servicing.

Hiring the right HMO Management Company for you!

If as a Lancaster landlord, you find managing your student property overwhelming and time-consuming, it’s worth hiring a professional managing company such as IPM. Working with a HMO management company could help with everything from lettings to tenancy management, collecting rent, holding deposits and providing maintenance. As a well cleaning, ensuring statutory compliance, offering 24/7 emergency support, utilities and sourcing insurance. Most student managing agents in Lancaster do some of the above, however, IPM do ALL the above.

If you feel that Inclusive Property Management Lancaster and our inclusive package are the right fit for you and your student property. Please get in touch on 01524 928329 or to speak to an experienced member of the team. Or for more information on everything IPM, Lancaster student accommodation and student living Lancaster, visit our website here.