Managing Void Periods
With average rents in the UK standing at £967 per month, each week that a property is standing empty will be costing the landlord around £223. And if the property doesn’t have a new tenant move in for couple of months then the lost income will increase to almost £2,000
This is why it’s crucial to carefully manage void periods to ensure they are as short as possible. Voids can be minimised by both ensuring a new tenancy is arranged swiftly, and by the tenants staying in the property longer.
Here are our top tips for keeping void periods in check:
Advertise the property to let well in advance
As soon as you know the property is going to become vacant, you should start marketing it. Selecting a professional letting agent who maintains a waiting list could help to ensure you have a tenant ready to move into your property almost as soon as it becomes vacant.
Use quality photographs
Whilst a tenant may use a property portal such as Rightmove to search for a home to rent, the portals can be crowded with lots of other properties available. However, data shows that interest in a property increases when it is supported with good quality images. Therefore, ensuring your agent takes professional photos can help to ensure the property stands out, and ensures early interest.
Ask for reasonable rent
Even if your property is in an area with high demand you should charge fair rent. If you try and push the rent higher than a tenant is willing to pay, then it could take longer to rent out. Indeed, increased rent can also mean that the tenant struggles to pay the rent or decides to move out earlier than they would have done normally.
Offer a deposit replacement scheme
Whilst a deposit replacement scheme can be useful for tenants; they have also been designed to give landlords greater protection. Should a tenant damage your property then the deposit replacement screen can speed up the payment to you, meaning you can arrange for repairs to be made much more swiftly.
Select a reliable tenant
You should never under-estimate the importance of a thorough reference check. The service doesn’t need to be too expensive, and most references can be turned around within days.
However, having a good quality tenant who can afford the rent can really ensure the property is crucial to ensuring positive tenancy.
Get all of your paperwork in order
Make sure you have everything you need, such as Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate, because if these have expired it could delay the start date of your tenancy.
Keep the property well maintained
Make sure you or your letting agent inspects the property often enough to spot any early issues. This will help to ensure there are no surprises when the tenant does move out.
Respond quickly to faults reported by the tenant - not only because the issue could get worse it if it left, but also the tenant will appreciate the speed if your response.
Also, getting to know the tenant could mean they’ll give advance notice if they are thinking of leaving. Although the tenant only needs to give you one month’s notice of their intention to leave, it would always be good to know if they’re maybe looking for a new job or considering buying a home of their own.
If you’re concerned about void periods impacting the profitability of your portfolio, speak to your local haart branch.