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How to Avoid Void Periods in Rental Properties

Void periods in rental properties can be a real headache for landlords.  It can cause a huge dent in your pockets as you will still likely still need to pay the mortgage as well as utilities.  Additionally, it is also a worry having a property sat empty; especially in the winter months. 

Here are some top tips on how to avoid a void:

Presentation is Everything

It’s true that people buy with their eyes.  So, make sure that your property is well presented and decorated.

  • Freshen up the paint job after your last tenants move out;
  • Remove any clutter;
  • Get rid of any 1970’s carpet or an avocado bathroom suite!
  • Can you spot any fixtures and fittings that could do with a bit of modernisation?
  • Give the front and rear gardens a good tidy up.

Good Marketing

Your agent should ensure that their marketing photos are accurate, clear and show the property in its best light. A good agent will be able to take good photos and have the ability to perform technical editing.  New photos often increase interest levels.

-       Ask your agent to take new photos if the property has changed inside or out, or, you’re simply not happy with the current ones;

-       Make sure property descriptions are written for the third bear in the Goldilocks story!  A bland description will mean the property is not noticed, and a glorified one will mean applicants are disappointed on the viewing.  You want to ensure the description matches the property and is “just right”.

Be Flexible

It can be easy to fall into the trap of dismissing perfectly good tenants because you’ve heard horror stories in the past.  For example, don’t disregard good tenants with a great rental history just because they have a dog.  Take the time to understand the full situation - the dog may not be left alone if one of them doesn’t work (or can take the dog to work) and they may even be able to get a pet reference from a previous landlord. 

Perform Thorough Referencing

It is the responsibility of your letting agent to make sure your potential tenants are carefully referenced.  Remember, if you pick a tenant in a profession such as teaching or healthcare, there is less chance of them relocating swiftly. 

Don’t Fall for the Overinflated Rent Quote

It’s tempting to get hungry for every extra pound that letting agents may quote you on prospective rental income.  If you’re in a position that allows you to do so, it’s not a bad idea to try your property at a bullish rent for a few weeks.  However, you should be prepared to drop it if there is little interest. 

Treat Tenants with Respect

Having a good, professional relationship with your tenant is a very healthy thing to cultivate.  It generally means they will be happier and stay put for longer periods.  If there is a simple maintenance problem that needs fixing, then take a look at it!  This not only means happier tenants but also prevents small problems turning into major problems over time.