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A newsletter for multi-let landlords


Multi-letters by

Issue #11

QuoteS of the Month

All housing for people on long term benefits should be provided by the government.


Dear Landlord,

Over the last 2 years, high-end HMOs have increased by 290%

Welcome to issue #11 of Multi-letters. We’re going back to basics with a look at something close to all our hearts - renting by the room. First up is SpareRoom’s brand new (free) guide to doing exactly that. It looks at why - and how - renting by the room is one of the best ways to increase yields and reduce void periods as well as the reasons why demand for rooms is on the up. If you haven’t considered renting by the room yet you really should. We also investigate one of the fastest-growing trends on SpareRoom - high end flatshares. Sharing isn’t all about the bottom end of the market; landlords and tenants alike are discovering the benefits of aiming higher. Next up is an introduction to SpareRoom’s Flatshare Revolution. We’re tired of all the news being about house prices and home ownership when the real story in the UK right now is shared accommodation and the private rented sector. Find out what we plan to do about it on page 5. Finally, we’ve got a selection of your feedback on our piece in issue 10 on renting to DSS tenants. We’d like your feedback on this issue too so do get in touch. What are your experiences of renting by the room? Do you rent out rooms in a higher end flatshare? Let us know.


Contents Page 3 • SpareRoom’s free Renting By the Room Guide Page 4 • Your feedback on...DSS Tenants Page 5 • The Flatshare Revolution Page 6-7 • High End Flatshares

Happy reading. Cheers, How to subscribe to this newsletter To make sure you receive every copy of our newsletter by email simply go to www. and sign up!


May/june 2013

SpareRoom’s Free Renting By the Room Guide

Renting By the Room Landlords can double (or even triple) their yields by renting their properties by the room. A new SpareRoom guide explains how. If you’re a regular Multi-letters reader you may well already be familiar with the advantages renting by the room has over single lets. However, if you’re a newer landlord, or have only tried single lets before, it’s worth exploring renting by the room.


SpareRoom’s free Renting by the Room Guide explains how pressures in the UK housing market have led to a huge demand for room rentals, which is predicted to keep growing for the foreseeable future. rentingbytheroom

The guide looks at: - The Origins of Generation Rent - The Growth of Flatsharing - The Benefits of Renting by the Room - Where the Demand for Shared Housing is strongest, around the UK

We also share the story of a property expert who only rents to professional sharers - he explains how he makes the flatshare model work for his business.

If you’re keen to know what makes renting by the room the single biggest factor in maximising your returns on investment, and why savvy property investors are turning to it in their thousands, download your free copy today.

Do you rent by the room? Have you recently made the switch? We’d love to hear from you - email and let us know


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Your Feedback on...DSS Tenants

Your Feedback on...DSS Tenants Does letting to DSS tenants work for you? Here are the thoughts of a few Multi-letters readers. Most landlords who responded revealed a reluctance to rent to LHA tenants. Delayed or missing payments, and overuse of utilities were cited as common concerns. Here’s a selection of your thoughts:

needs good quality rented housing but l do think that the private sector is often expected to be part social worker and banker for some people who clearly do need a lot of attention and assistance. I think that this is beyond the scope of most landlords.”

“All housing for people on long term benefits should be provided by the government. It is immoral for landlords to profiteer from housing benefit.” ”The benefit provided is often much lower than open market rents for the type of property required. The landlord is often expected to accept less or to try to obtain the difference from the tenant(s).” “The bureaucracy, admin nightmare and general mess of the benefits system is a big deterrent for me. But also, as the tenant doesn’t pay any money from their pocket, they don’t look after a property like they would if the rent was earned money and their general tenant behaviour is worse than a private tenant, because they don’t have to pay for any damage, losses, etc.” “There are inevitably delays when someone is first claiming housing benefit and also some tenants who may have recent difficulties because they have the need to claim housing benefit sometimes have difficulties with their money management and the landlord is often the last to be paid! “Personally l am concerned that everyone

“All housing for people on long term benefits should be provided by the government.” “I do feel sorry for a lot of people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, but my experience in the past (including a tenant who claimed the council tax for the whole house when I was already paying) have made me a little wary. But, if jobs dry up, it may be an option a lot of landlords will have to consider. Maybe returning to the method whereby the landlord would be paid rent direct would convince some.” === We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the subjects we touch upon in this issue of Multi-letters. Email with your feedback


May/june 2013

The Flatshare Revolution

The Flatshare Revolution Introducing SpareRoom’s new campaign to promote flatsharing in all its forms. The way we live in the UK is changing but nobody seems to want to talk about it. Until now. While the UK - and our media - remain obsessed with house prices and home ownership, a housing revolution has been quietly taking place. It reflects a huge shift in the way people live in the UK. We’re talking about the Flatshare Revolution. The facts According to UK Census data, shared living has increased by 28% in the last 10 years, yet other types of households have gone into decline or remained stagnant. Flatsharing has become the fastest growing trend in the way we live and this tremd is set to continue. It’s not just students and young professionals who share either. The over 40s are the fastest growing group on SpareRoom right now and we don’t expect that to change any time soon. Add into the mix recent curbs on housing benefit, fuelling room demand at the lower end of the market, and it’s clear why sharing is fast becoming the modern way of life. What does this all mean for landlords? We’ve already seen increased demand for renting by the room and this will continue for the foreseeable future. There’ll also be more appetite amongst homeowners

to rent out their spare rooms. This may stiffen up competition to attract the best tenants, which should serve to drive up standards. We’ll also see more battles over the regulation and licensing of HMOs, as local councils up and down the country seek to impose limits on the growth of shared housing. Over the coming months you’ll see the Flatshare Revolution gaining momentum. We’ll be adding a special section to SpareRoom looking at all types of shared accommodation, who lives in them and why. We’ll also be highlighting these stories to the press to raise awareness. Our aim is to bring sharing out of the shadows and give it the attention it deserves. How you can help We’re looking for landlords to feature in the campaign, particularly anyone who’s made the switch from single lets to renting by the room and is now reaping the benefits. We’re also keen to hear from landlords who specialise in renting to specific groups, e.g. students, DSS tenants or professionals. What’s your story? Email sam.cowen@


Multi-letters by

High End Flatshares

High End Flatshares Over the last 2 years, high-end HMOs have increased by 290% on SpareRoom - so what are they? Spotlight on high-end flatshares One of the real trends we’re seeing on right now is the rise of the high-end flatshare. Where once HMOs were synonymous with student-style living and brought to mind tired furnishings, piles of take-away cartons in the kitchen and a grotty, mildewed bathroom, the stereotype is being turned on its head. We’ve noticed a shift, driven by market demand, towards a more comfortable way to rent. In most major cities landlords are now offering shared flats and houses that

“HMO has, for a long time, been an evocative and dirty word.”

are immaculately presented and offer sharers the lifestyle they want, without compromising because they can’t afford their own place. High-end flatshares like these usually feature cable or satellite TV, wi-fi and a weekly cleaner, as well as all bills included in the rent. Many rooms have en-suites. Tenants are rigorously selected, but have the peace of mind they’ll be sharing with likeminded people in a comfortable, stressfree environment. They also get peace of

mind as, in most high-end flatshares, pro landlords arrange all maintenance without bothering the tenants. Whilst SpareRoom’s overall listings have grown 42% over the last 2 years, high-end HMOs have increased by 290% in the same period (that’s 6.7 times faster than the overall growth trend). High-end properties now make up around 10% of all HMOs advertised on SpareRoom. So who lives in high-end flatshares? Matthew lives in a high-end HMO in Fulham, rented through Capital Living, and finds this option suits him better than living on his own. He’s been working in London for a few years, at Bank of New York Mellon, and has lived here for 18 months. Originally he was placed in a flat organised through work, but wanted a more sociable living arrangement. He found his room on He’s not looking to buy just yet, but wants to make the most of living in London – socialising and living the lifestyle of a successful young professional. He’s sharing with six other young professionals, working in medicine, business, fashion and events. The tenant’s view: “Because we all have different schedules, it doesn’t feel like we’re living on top of


May/june 2013

High Flatshares...cont Why End

one another. I’m on the top floor with my own bathroom, which really makes a big difference.”


The landlord’s view:

Are you a landlord offering high-end flatshares? What’s your experience of this market? Tell us: sam.cowen@spareroom.

Capital Living manage over 30 properties around the UK and supply homes to young professionals who demand the highest standards. Adam Goff of Capital Living says: “HMO has, for a long time, been an evocative and dirty word. But that was before professionals in their late twenties, thirties and even their forties, began to realise they were trapped in the rental market with no way out, and didn’t want to live like students any more.

“Whilst SpareRoom’s overall listings have grown 42% over the last 2 years, high-end HMOs have increased by 290%.”

“We offer a high quality standard of living in very desirable areas, with rooms in homes normally worth between £1m-1.8m, fully furnished to a high-spec, and complete with a group of fully-vetted, like minded housemates who are all working professionals. There is none of the usual hassle over finding a group of friends with the same budget, who all want to live in the same area at the same time, nor do the housemates have to trouble themselves if someone chooses to move out. We find a replacement for them. Our rooms are also very popular with professionals from


Just one of Capital Living’s high-spec houses rented by the room.

Landlords... Download SpareRoom’s free Renting By the Room Guide Did you know you could double (or even triple) your yields renting by the room instead of as a single let?

Includes: - The Origins of Generation Rent - The Growth of Flatsharing - The Benefits of Renting by the Room

Download SpareRoom’s free Renting by the Room Guide to find out how.

- Where the Demand for Shared Housing is strongest around the UK

Multi-letters - issue #11  

A newsletter for multi-let landlords, by

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