It’s an interval that landlords loathe, but unfortunately, also a period which is part and parcel of the property cycle for many who have bought to let. Void periods are likely to incur a landlord financial loses, making it a scary time as you could feel that your investment isn’t paying off, or that you’ve made the wrong decision. Taking precautionary measures is essential for minimising anxieties so that you’ll remain stress-free – ensuring your property is generating as much revenue as possible.
To make sure you’re making the most out of your investment, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for reducing void periods – helping your property stay occupied and ultimately, profitable.
Maintain the Property’s Condition
Making sure your rented property stays in good condition can be difficult as a landlord, given that you’ve essentially trusted the tenants to do this role for you. However, you are still able to maintain some control in the form of property inspections, inventory checks and security deposits as ways of making sure they will be responsible for property damages. These are some of the more formal procedures which imply to tenants that they should maintain the property to a good standard.
If your tenants are making the place unsightly and unappealing, prospective tenants may be put off renting your property, which could result in a void period. Making use of ways to indirectly control how the property is maintained will help minimise the chances of any void periods – ensuring your financial forecast is not affected. Our next tip recommends perhaps some more personal ways that will help tenants maintain your property.
Build and Maintain a Strong Landlord/Tenant Relationship
As an asset of the landlord’s, the property is far more likely to be treated with respect when the tenant feels that their landlord offers them a high level of respect. By building a solid rapport with your tenant, they are not only more likely to maintain the property to a greater standard, but they are also far more likely to continue to rent with you – ultimately minimising any chances of void periods.
Going above and beyond for your tenant may at times seem like a chore, but like any investment, you want it to pay dividends. By investing time and gratitude to build a strong and respectful relationship with your tenants, you’re far more likely to keep your property occupied and maintained to a higher standard – keeping the anxiety of a void period at a minimum.
Revise Your Rent and Fees
In the case of a void period (or if it is looking likely that one is approaching), we suggest having a second look over what you’re charging prospective tenants. Look back over the local market and analyse the competition. Price plays a large role in tenant’s decision as to whether they want to rent out a property, so if you’re charging above the market rate you should make sure you’re justifying it when marketing to future renters.
Now that the Tenants Fees Act 2019 has made its way into fruition, landlords must be as transparent as possible regarding any additional charges outside of rental payments. This may be a good time to check over what fees you’re charging tenants. If you’re letting with an estate agent, look at what fees they’re charging to tenants in comparison to others. Tenants may be more drawn to your property if the fees are more within their budget should anything go wrong – which will help you quash, and void periods should one arise.
Invest in your Kitchens and Bathrooms
When it comes to property, kitchens and bathrooms sell – so it’s important to keep these as up to date as possible to attract tenants to rent with you.
We recommend investing in these rooms if they appear outdated and it’s looking likely that you’re going into a void period. There may be no need to fork out a lot of money into a brand-new kitchen and bathroom. Instead, stay within a set budget and use your rental figures for reference. These kinds of investments are likely to pay off not only the long term but in the short term too as new tenants love being the first to make use of a newly refurbished kitchen or bathroom.
To get a tenant into your property fast and efficiently and end the void period, it is imperative that you stay organise so that you can save as much money as possible.
Make sure that should a prospective tenant be interested in moving in, all financial checks, inventory checks, gas and utility information, document checks and keys are prepared in advance to move them in efficiently. This may perhaps be easier said than done, especially as it also relies on the tenant's schedule to sync with yours for this process to be streamlined. Nonetheless, by preparing as much as you can in advance to ensure a prospective tenant moves in A.S.A.P, you are likely to save yourself cash and, ultimately, end or dodge a void period sooner.
We hope our tips will ensure you rental property is occupied all your round! If you are looking to let your home or need general property advice, please get in touch here.