Void Periods: How to avoid them? - Richard James Estate Agents

Void Periods: How to avoid them?

Landlords naturally panic at the thought of their properties being empty for any length of time. So, if you are dreading long void periods and want to avoid them at all costs, then review our top ten tips:

void periods

1. MAINTAIN YOUR PROPERTY TO A HIGH STANDARD

It is a competitive market, so tenants expect rental properties to be kept in good decorative order, with up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms. 

2. REMEMBER THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESENTATION

As you would when selling a property, take pride in showing prospective tenants the property at its absolute best. That means immaculate carpets, curtains and properly dressed beds (if furnished), almost like a show home. This way, they can see themselves living there, rather than having to do all the imagination work on their own during the viewing. 

3. IF YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR EXISTING TENANTS, DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HANG ON TO THEM

This could involve everything from responding promptly to any concerns that they may raise, to freezing their rent in the event of an emergency. The better your relationship with your tenants, the less likely they are to move out at short notice, leaving your property empty. 

4. AIM FOR CONSISTENCY IN THE TYPE OF TENANTS YOU TARGET

Is your property best suited to a young professional couple, a family or a single tenant? There are different demographics in the rental sector and you need to develop an understanding of what sort of tenant your property is likely to attract and go for it. 

5. MAKE SURE THAT THE RENT YOU CHARGE IS COMPETITIVE

Charging the right rent makes all the difference in avoiding void periods. Take advice from the local experts on the rental market in the area.

6. BE PREPARED TO ACT QUICKLY WHEN YOUR TENANTS MOVE OUT

You should have all the necessary paperwork such as energy performance certificates to hand and a plan for how best to market the property. Now that so many rental properties are initially viewed online, it is vital to have a set of good quality, up-to-date photographs, along with a video and floorplan. 

7. TREAT SHORT VOID PERIODS AS INEVITABLE AND BUDGET ACCORDINGLY

If you plan for your property to be let eleven months out of twelve, that is a realistic expectation in the current climate. You will then be pleasantly surprised when the property is tenanted continuously for years at a time.

8. MAKE SURE YOU EMPLOY AN ARLA/PROPERTY MARK/CMP REGISTERED LETTING AGENT

Unless you are a hands-on landlord who wants to do all the heavy lifting, you will be reliant on your letting agent, first to maintain good relations with existing tenants and then to find you new tenants, as quickly as possible when the property falls vacant. The best agents will try to show your property to prospective new tenants before the existing tenancy comes to an end and they will also have a list of prospective tenants ready and waiting.

9. THINK PETS

If you accommodate tenants with pets, you may find that your tenants are so grateful that they stay for many years. You  can increase the rent slightly in the event of a pet being accepted too.

10. TAKE OUT LANDLORD INSURANCE AS A PROTECTION

You should make sure you have adequate Landlord Insurance for both Buildings and Contents. 
 
There may also be a Rent Guarantee Cover available for non-payment of rent by a tenant and legal fee cover for any eviction process. This is also worth exploring. Terms & Conditions will apply.

Remember, the most important thing is to look after your tenant and they will look after you.

Ellis, from our lettings team, has created a short video to explain these 10 tips:

 
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