The constant thing that worries most landlords most is a long and costly void period. Whilst most landlords acknowledge that voids can occur for a number of reasons, they are always keen to minimise this.
It may be a case a tenant leaves earlier than a contract permits, prospective tenants letting a landlord down at the last moment, personal circumstances, or perhaps simply a lack of suitable tenants.
Whatever the reasoning behind this, landlords depend on the rent coming in regularly and consistently to ensure they make a good rental yield. Afterall, landlords usually have a mortgage, insurance and possibly property maintenance to pay - even while empty. The national average void period is 19.8 days (source ARLA)
While void periods are sometimes unavoidable, there are many things you can do to minimise this
Advertise – As soon as your tenant gives notice ensure that you advertise it straight away. Have professional photos taken and make an effort to de-clutter each room you photography. It is essential to present the property in is best light to beat your local competition.
Competitive Rental – Research the local market to see where your property rental sits now, opposed to when you let it in the past. Rentals in the area may of increased/decreased. This research is vital to ensure it is marketed correctly.
Maintenance – Keep on top of this over the period of all tenancies. As the last thing that you want is to have a major repair come to light. This will further extend the void period and time and cost to resolve this.
End Dates - Always think of the end day of the contract. It is not advised to let a property Dec to Dec as an example. This is the least buoyant month of the letting calendar due to Christmas holidays (and no one likes to move in cold weather!). We advise our clients to adjust rental periods so that it falls on a bouyant month - e.g. September. We have found it to certainly worth shortening or extending a tenancy slightly to avoid the winter months.
Shorter Lets – Avoid a series of shorter lets, always try and maximise the letting period.
Lastly but not least, what every you do, please do not accept any previous tenants to fill the void where you have had any negative experiences. You would likely end up with much larger problems that a temporary loss of rental.
If the Prime Living team can be of any assistance, please feel free to get in touch - happy to help.