From profit to loss – How to prevent void periods
Void periods – we hardly dare mention them. Having no tenant in your property for any length of time is many landlords’ worst nightmare and especially painful if you have a mortgage on the property.
While it’s impossible to avoid the voids completely, there are some steps you can take to keep them short and infrequent. Here are our top tips for long-term tenants and seamless switchovers.
1. Look after the place
While demand for rental property in London is high, no one wants to spend their money renting a rundown home. Make sure the place is in good decorative order with an up-to-date bathroom and kitchen.
Keeping on top of repairs and maintenance has multiple benefits when it comes to minimising voids. Your tenants will wish to stay longer if the place is on top form; you’ll attract new ones more easily too. Looking after the place will also help avoid the complex and lengthy repair work, which can put the property out of action between tenancies.
2. Be the landlord they love
If you have good tenants, make sure you hang onto them by responding to their concerns promptly and communicating effectively. If the tenant calls to say, “the tap is leaking,” or “paint is peeling off in the bathroom,” you’ll score brownie points by fixing the problem immediately.
3. Think long term
If you have to choose between a short and longer-term let, be aware that renting your property for short periods is more likely to leave you without tenants at some point. Some landlords prefer short lets as they can, theoretically, increase the rent with every new tenant. Remember, you can only do this if the market will allow it and any gain you make in increased rent, could be offset if you’re without income during a void period.
4. Be prepared
If your tenants do give notice, you’ll need to be on standby to act quickly. Have all your paperwork and certificates at the ready to start marketing the property as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to have the numbers of reliable tradespeople in your phone too, so you can organise any necessary redecoration as soon as is humanly possible.
5. Consider insurance
If you’d really struggle with a void period, financially, consider insuring yourself against the risk. Shop around for a good landlord insurance package that can offer you protection, should you be without rental income for up to 90 days.
6. Be open to pets
In general, landlords don’t tend to favour pets due to concerns about damage, noise and smells. For this reason, accepting a tenant with a well-behaved pet can be a way of keeping them in the property for longer.
7. Make the most of your letting agent
Unless you have time to be a hands-on landlord, using a good letting agent could really speed up the process of finding the right tenant.
If you’re a new landlord, choose your agent carefully; speak to different companies operating in your area and get personal recommendations. Don’t necessarily go with the cheapest, look for a reputable agent.
If you have a buy-to-let property in Newington Green, Islington or Stoke Newington, we’d be happy to talk to you about our services and how we can help you find the right tenants quickly. Contact us today to find out more.