As a Landlord...Should I Be Providing A TV (And License) In My HMO?
A question that comes up a lot with regard to furnishing HMOs for professional tenants is whether or not to include a TV. We feel that providing a TV for the lounge is necessary if only to encourage your tenants to mingle but it's not necessary to provide them with the bedrooms.
TVs in Houses of Multiple Occupation
When it comes to houses in multiple occupation, one of the things we get asked a lot about are TVs and whether it's best practice to provide them for professional tenants.
Now, there is a quick answer to this and that's yes. Typically, when we are dealing with professional tenants, we aim to provide a communal television, in the lounge area, for use by all tenants in the property.
Providing TVs for the Bedrooms
Although we provide a television for the lounge we don't provide them for the bedrooms. Apart from that, as a professional landlord, we like to fully furnish our properties but if the tenant wants a TV in their room then we leave it to the tenant to provide it.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
The first is cost. Now, a TV might not cost very much but if you've got a few rooms to provide for then the cost overall is certainly going to start adding up. Also, a TV in the room is not something that you're going to get back in the room rates. What I mean here is that providing a television isn't necessarily going to add value to the room in a way that will translate into rental income.
But it's not that we're being tight, typically the cost of providing a TV for each room simply isn't warranted.
Because the second reason we don't include TVs in the bedrooms is that our professional tenants don't tend to require them. This is because most of them already own TVs and if they don't they'll use tablets or laptops and have subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. As technology improves TV is becoming less essential, although we do provide aerial sockets in all the rooms so that the tenants have the option of a TV should they want it.
Providing a TV for the Communal Lounge
As I said earlier on we do provide television for the communal area or lounge. We find that works, predominantly because it brings people together and encourages our tenants to not just stay in their respective rooms.
Another reason is that if you don't provide a TV in the communal room then what can happen is that a tenant will put their own TV in that space and when they leave the house, taking the TV with them, that can cause friction in the house.
So, providing a TV for the lounge just helps bring the house together and can help avoid friction among the tenants. As I've said time and time again in these posts the more you can do to make the house comfortable for your tenants the more you will be protecting your bottom line. After all, happy tenants will stay in your properties for longer.
The TV Licence
One thing that you have to consider is the TV licence and it's important to clarify the TV licence situation with your tenants. Ideally, this needs to be a conversation you have with them and then it needs to go into the tenancy agreement.
The way things are at the moment is that in shared accommodation you need a TV licence per room. So, if you are providing a communal TV for the lounge and have a licence for the property you are covered. However, if your tenants then decide to get televisions for their bedrooms then, in theory, they should get their own TV licence as well. This, you will need to explain to your tenants before they move in.
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