How to Avoid Void Periods
As a landlord, you’ll understand that a lengthy rental void period is likely to seriously impact on your income. A property that is empty is not earning you money. For most landlords, the key is to avoid these periods altogether or at least make sure they are minimised.
Void periods occur for a variety of reasons. A tenant might simply pack up and leave without giving notice. There may be difficulty in finding new tenants once one has left. Perhaps you are unable to take on new tenants for a period because repairs have to be carried out on the property. These voids can be costly as not only do you not have the rental income coming in, you may still have to pay the mortgage and of course, council tax.
The good news is there are some measures you can put in place to prevent void periods from happening.
1. Maintain Your Property
It goes without saying that a well-maintained property is less likely to suffer from void periods. The last thing you want is the property empty whilst repairs are made instead of having tenants settling in and paying your rent. Regular and ongoing maintenance of your property should ensure that this doesn’t happen. In other words, if problems arise make sure you deal with them immediately rather than letting issues mount. To achieve this, regular inspections of the property are highly recommended.
2. Make Sure Your Property is Ready for Prospective Tenants to View
It is key to start marketing for new tenants as soon as notice is received by the current occupier to minimise the risk of a void period. You don’t need to wait until the property is vacant to conduct viewings. Once vacated arrange for the property inspection as soon as you can so that any repairs that are required can be made swiftly and the property can be cleaned ready for an immediate occupancy.
3. Treat Your Existing Tenants Well
A savvy landlord does all they can to hang on to good tenants. That means being responsive to your tenant’s needs and making sure you act on any queries or problems they may have. The better connection that you or your letting agent has with them, the less likely they are to leave.
4. Be Consistent with the Tenants You Target
Choosing the right tenants is vital if you want to help avoid void periods. Being consistent in your rental business can mean a lot of things but it’s usually focused on the type of tenant you want to target. Who is your property best suited to?
Whether it’s a professional, a family who are looking for a long-term rent or students who mean a regular turnover, understanding your target market helps you build a better void strategy.
5. Don’t Exclude Tenants that Have Pets
Rental properties that allow pets are few and far between in many areas but might just mean you end up with a grateful tenant who wants to stay around because they have a much loved pet.
6. Set your rent competitively
If you are keen to avoid void periods, make sure you set your rent at a competitive rate. Often setting it a just below or at the local market rate is a way of attracting tenants quickly and keeping them in the property longer.
7. Get Insurance to Cover Long Void Periods
Landlords can also get insurance to cover longer void periods. This kind of cover normally protects you against voids that last for up to 90 days. It’s particularly useful if you have a property that is difficult to find tenants for.
Of course, working with a good Agent can make this whole process a lot simpler. At Newton Fallowell we do all we can to learn about our landlord’s properties and needs; whether you have one property or a portfolio of properties, we will provide you with unrivalled levels of professionalism and a service to suit your specific needs. You can find out more about the different landlord service levels we offer here.
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