It is never a good time whenever a landlord’s property isn’t tenanted. Aside from not collecting rental income, you’re still paying out other costs including mortgage instalments, ground rent, insurance, council tax, and gas and electrical services. Therefore lessening void periods where possible is crucial. Although all tenancies eventually come to an end, for various reasons, there are some things you can do to keep tenants for longer and minimise void periods.
By nurturing relationships with tenants, you will have fewer change overs, which will reduce rental voids. The primary aim is making sure your tenants are happy with what they’re getting and are open to extending after a fixed term tenancy.
- Respond to issues swiftly: sort out repairs or replacements where necessary and do it quickly.
- Be responsive and flexible to tenant requests: if a decent tenant asks permission to carry out some personalised decorating or want to get a pet, accommodate accordingly.
- Stay on top of maintenance: if you have a tenant staying in your property for a few years it’s important to keep on top of the overall standard of the property.
- Increase rent with caution: with longer lets it could be necessary to increase the rent to keep up with market changes. If you opt to do this, ensure you’re proposing a fair rate that takes into consideration the advantages of having good, reliable long-term tenants.
- Offer longer tenancies: by ensuring tenants sign up for a minimum rental period of a year, you can avoid a trend of shorter lets that will cost you both time and money. Longer tenancies also provide security and peace of mind for your tenants.
Reducing rental voids
Unless you buy a property with tenants in situ, the very first void period you’ll experience will be upon completion of your buy-to-let purchase. After the first letting is completed, you’ll need to locate replacement tenants.
- Advertise immediately: as soon as your existing tenant gives notice to leave, that’s when you should start advertising for replacement tenants. Even when it isn’t ready to let, you can still advertise for a specific date.
- Price it competitively: research similar local properties and ensure you’re offering a competitive rental rate that will provide value for money to new tenants.
- Provide value: when advertising, offer a guarantee that the property will be cleaned by a professional and that any repairs will be carried out before the moving date – this will help you get a head start on creating a better relationship with your new tenants.
- Select the right tenants: where possible, look to choose tenants that you know will be happy with the property you’re letting out. And of course make sure you complete the right referencing checks.
- Get organised: once you get a new tenant sorted you make sure everything is in place to prevent delays to the start of their tenancy. Make sure everything is place, including the documents, keys, utilities information and financial checks.
Reducing rental voids (as much as possible) is crucial for maximising profitability. Staying organised and planning for the future will go a long way in securing a quick turnaround of tenants at the end of a tenancy.
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