8 Tips to Avoid Rental Scams

In 2023 there were 5,751 reports of rental scams in the UK- an increase of 23% compared to scams reported in 2021. Unfortunately, rental scams are more prevalent in today’s society with the technological advances we have access to- however, there are measures that tenants can take in order to avoid being deceived by scammers such as the following:

1. Research the listing: Thoroughly research the rental listing and the property. Look for any inconsistencies or red flags, such as unusually low prices or requests for payment upfront.

2. Verify the landlord/property management company: Request to see your letting agency's company house registration number. You can also search online via land registry for the property owner's name and registered address, to ensure they are legitimate.

3. Visit the property in person: If possible, visit the property in person before making any payments or signing any agreements. This will help you verify its existence and condition.

4. Use trusted platforms: Stick to reputable rental platforms or websites with verified listings. Be cautious when using lesser-known platforms or dealing with individuals directly.

5. Verify bank details & be wary of cash-only requests: Scammers often request payment through wire transfers or in cash. Use secure payment methods and avoid making large payments upfront and verify bank details

6. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. Don't be pressured into making quick decisions.

7. Read and understand the rental agreement: Carefully read the rental agreement before signing. Ensure that all terms and conditions are clear and reasonable.

8. Seek legal advice if needed: If you have any doubts or concerns, consider seeking legal advice from a professional who specializes in real estate or rental matters.

Remember, staying vigilant and conducting thorough research can help you avoid falling victim to rental scams. You can trust our specialist team at Now Rooms who are a part of the PRS (Property Redress Scheme) and Client Money Protection Scheme to help you find your next home safely and legitimately.

Transforming HMO's into Homes: The Art of Furnishing Your Property

You’ve found an investment property, refurbished it to the best it can be, but now it’s time to add some furniture to give the rooms some life. Furniture and interior design are such important elements when it comes to marketing your property and making it an attractive space for tenants. A key tip here is to see the property through the eyes of the tenant, would they want to spend 6+ months living in that space, and is it homely enough for them to feel comfortable in their room and the rest of the property?

It helps to have an overarching theme running throughout the property, as this ties all the rooms together and makes the property feel more like a home than individual, lifeless units. Of course, this is all based on budget and how much you intend to spend, but if you are financially able to invest in some home furnishings, it will help to attract tenants as well as achieving maximum rental income.

Let’s begin with basic furniture, items required for every bedroom:

These are what we deem to be ‘basics’, and enough to make the room rentable and homely. Many tenants are happy with this, especially if they work long hours outside of the home and are just looking for a comfortable place to relax in. However, in this day and age and with working patterns and lifestyles changing so much in current years, a desk and chair is also a common addition to a bedroom and we do find a lot of tenants are very keen to have this. Where previously, this was mainly expected by students, in recent years with a rise on working from home, it’s a popular preference for working professionals too.

In addition, if you have large rooms that feel empty with little furniture, or you want to give the rooms more of a luxury feel, you may want to invest in some ‘premium’ items. Some suggestions could include:

These are just the general furniture selections that we tend to see in most HMOs. Of course, you can get a little more creative and include additional items, based on your budget and how much you are willing to invest in to the rooms. We do tend to find that giving bedrooms a makeover or adding some stylish elements throughout the property can enhance the appeal, and even lead to potentially higher rental figures being achieved. At Now Rooms, we are always happy to discuss ideas and assist with decorating or adding new furniture items, as well as overseeing full refurbishment projects. If this is something you would like to discuss further with our team, do get in touch with us at info@nowroomsliverpool.co.uk

The Basics of HMOs in Liverpool

Let’s start from the beginning – what is a HMO?

A HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) is defined as a rental property housing 3 or more tenants of different households. Typically in Liverpool, this will comprise of students or young professionals who want to live away from home but perhaps want to try shared accommodation before taking the plunge of renting or buying of their own.

Why invest in a HMO in Liverpool?

The HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) market in Liverpool is characterized by a strong demand for rental properties among students and young professionals. Liverpool is home to several universities and colleges, attracting a large student population each year. This influx of students has contributed to the growth of the HMO market in the city.

HMOs are popular among students due to their affordability and the opportunity to live with fellow students, fostering a sense of community. Landlords have recognized this demand and have invested in converting properties into HMOs to cater to the student population.

Liverpool City Council has implemented regulations and licensing requirements for HMO properties to ensure safety and quality standards are met. Landlords are required to obtain an HMO license and comply with regulations regarding property size, fire safety, and general living conditions. These measures aim to protect tenants and maintain a high standard of accommodation.

The HMO market in Liverpool is competitive, with a range of properties available to suit different budgets and preferences. Areas such as Kensington, Smithdown Road, and Wavertree are popular among students, as they are in close proximity to universities and offer a vibrant student community.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in HMO investment in Liverpool, not only from local landlords but also from investors outside the city. The city's reputation as a thriving student hub and its ongoing regeneration efforts have contributed to the attractiveness of the HMO market for investors.

Overall, the HMO market in Liverpool is dynamic and diverse, driven by the demand from students and young professionals. The city's thriving educational institutions and ongoing urban development make it an appealing destination for both tenants and investors in the HMO sector.