Most people who rent in an HMO end up moving on at some point, whether graduating from university or moving to another location or property type. A good HMO letting experience can have a positive impact on whatever the next steps that you decide to take.
Building credit history. While your rent payments don’t (at the moment, at least) count towards your credit history, the bills that you pay while you’re sharing an HMO do. Make sure that you get your name onto one of the bills accounts and ensure that all the payments are made regularly so that you’re always up to date. This is a great way to start building up a positive credit score without getting into debt to do it and will stand you in good stead if you want to get a mortgage later on.
The Rental Exchange. Although your rent payments don’t currently count towards your credit history in the same way as mortgage payments would, it’s worth being aware of the Rental Exchange, which is something that could change that. It is a partnership between credit scoring agency Experian and the Big Issue and proposes that rent payments are used in the same way as mortgage payments to show good standing and evidence of credit worthiness. Make all your rent payments on time and if the Rental Exchange does come into being you’ll be in a great position to boost your credit score.
A reference from the landlord. Wherever you want to move onto next – if you’re renting again – you’ll need to have a reference from the landlord. Being a good HMO tenant can be a springboard to your next steps so don’t forget that leaving somewhere on good terms is important. The rental market is ultra competitive in the UK now – particularly in the bigger cities and especially in the popular areas in those cities – and a landlord’s reference is going to be a basic requirement for a new tenancy.
Learning some more social skills. Maybe you think you don’t need to learn social skills but we can all be surprised by what new people can bring out in us and even the oldest dogs can learn new tricks. Sharing a building with other people – particularly people that you don’t know – can be a real challenge that contains lots of great learning experiences, whatever your circumstances in life. Approach HMO life with good humour and a willingness to be flexible and you might well come out of it with some great friends and memories.
Life admin. For those who are new to the world of renting or don’t have a huge amount of experience in life admin, the HMO is a good place to learn how to manage your affairs. You’ll need to read and sign a legal document, organise payments for services and get into the habit of budgeting, as well as the basics such as keeping your environment clean and your belongings secure.