How to Avoid Voids!!

The demand for private rented accommodation is extremely high and it looks like things will stay this way for some time.  Landlords are achieving high yields, and void periods are dropping – we have seen this in Corby and Peterborough over the past year or two.

Despite the high demand, some property investors are still experiencing problems finding tenants for homes in their portfolio, while others are seeing profits fall as a result of delays between tenancies.

There are however ways to prevent these situations arising and to protect your profits when tenants are changing over.

Encourage your current tenant to stay

When a tenant expresses intent to leave, have a conversation with them to see if you can encourage them to stay.  Some occupants move because they are stepping onto the property ladder, relocating or moving in with a partner, but others have reasons that are easier to address.

A renter who wants to leave because they are dissatisfied with the condition of a property, for example, might be encouraged to stay with the promise of investment. You might be planning to redecorate or install new appliances anyway, so it’s worth finding out whether improvements will motivate them to extend their contract.

Some tenants might wish to move out because of a recent rent hike, and in this instance, it might be worthwhile to offer them a lower price.  It might be more cost-effective to cut your prices than to suffer the financial loss and stress of a void period, especially if the renter would be willing to commit to a fixed, extended occupancy.

Finding new tenants

Many landlords know that a contract termination is approaching, yet fail to prepare adequately for the quest to find a new tenant.  If you want to avoid having an empty property, you should prepare to advertise for new occupants in good time.  We would recommend one month being the ideal time for advertising but six weeks or two months allows for more time to test the market and rental values.

Drawing new renters quickly is not just about the timing of your promotional material.  The quality is also extremely important – make sure that any photographs are up-to-date and attractive; carefully detail particulars, including information about nearby amenities; and most importantly, carefully consider the price.

Look at similar properties on the market in order to determine at what level your rent should be, and avoid being greedy.  Although the market is favourable, you will not experience interest from aspiring renters if your price is too high.  This is important at a time when the tough economic climate is stretching British budgets.

You should also be extremely flexible when it comes to viewings, as interested parties who do not hear back about an inquiry in good time or who must wait a number of days to have a look around are likely to dismiss your property altogether, or find somewhere else that is suitable in the meantime.

Avoid delayed contract start dates

Landlords who manage to find a replacement tenant before or quickly after the end of occupancy can still experience financially-damaging void periods.  This is because of difficulties with contract start dates – as people’s circumstances change or they have difficulty saving a deposit, they are eager to delay moving-in day.

In order to prevent this happening to you, you should ask the appropriate questions before you even conduct the viewing, i.e. when does their current notice end, do they have enough fund available to move.  We never advise allowing part payment of deposits.

If you would like help finding tenants for a property in Corby or Peterborough then call The Letting Company team and we will be happy to help.

Thelettingcompany.co is a website owned and managed by Richard Gibbs trading as The Letting Company and our VAT number is 876269571.
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