No matter how well you plan, void periods are a real headache for every landlord.
With landlord costs hiking, a void period can have a real impact on your bottom line, and a property sitting empty can leave many of us feeling the pinch.
But is there anything you can do to avoid the void? Here’s our top tips on minimising the issue:
Recognise property patterns
For some landlords, especially those who let to organisations or students, it can be easy to recognise when a property is going to become vacant, so planning when to prepare to remarket is simple. However, even if you do not have an easy calendar date such as an academic term ending to remind you to start the remarketing, you can still recognise familiar patterns emerging that can prompt the process.
If your tenants are starting to enquire about how much notice they have to give to end their tenancy for example, it can be a sign that they are considering moving on. If this is the case, ask them about their plans. Getting as much warning as possible that a tenant is planning to leave the property is really helpful, and can give you a little extra time to plan your marketing campaign and work with your agent to ensure your online presence is ready to go as soon as you are.
Build a good relationship with existing tenants
It’s vitally important to have a good relationship with your tenants – throughout the duration of your tenancy it helps everything from maintenance to marketing run that little bit smoother.
Once your tenant has given notice, if you consider that they would be happy doing so, you could consider speaking with them about the potential for arranging viewings whilst they are still living in the property. Some tenants may not be comfortable with this, but many understand the need to show potential new tenants around the property, and may be happy to facilitate.
Do be understanding though. Try and book viewings in blocks to minimise the impact on your tenant, and don’t expect them to host the viewing or make an effort to showcase your property – after all, they’ll be packing to move! And whatever happens, don’t forget that you always have to have your tenant’s permission 24 hours’ in advance if you wish to access to the property.
Make sure your property is in tip top condition
When you are preparing to let, you want to make sure that your property is as appealing to prospective new tenants as possible. Once your existing tenants have moved out, take time to go in and give the property a quick lick of paint, tidy up the garden and generally freshen up. This can make the world of difference, and mean that your property looks as good as it can when it hits the busy open market.
Make sure your advert does the property justice
For people searching online, photographs are the first thing that catch your eye. Once your property is looking smart, make sure you have a good set of images showcasing your hard work.
A blurry snap taken on a smartphone won’t make your property stand out amongst they competition, and could leave you twiddling your thumbs, wondering where all the eager prospective tenants have got to…
Don’t be tempted to skip steps
Void periods can be costly, so once you have found a tenant it can be really tempting to whizz through the pre-tenancy admin to try and recoup a couple of days.
However, no matter how tempting this may be, remember the old saying – act in haste, repent at leisure! Skipping vital steps such as referencing, or failing to carry out a property inventory in order to get a tenant into your property quickly can leave you in real hot water later down the line, and end up costing far more than you save. It’s far more sensible to slow down and follow the proper procedure. A couple of days’ worth of cash in the bank isn’t worth risking a hefty fine or unpaid rent further down the line!