Tips to minimise void periods in rental properties
Usually when a tenant moves out of a rental property there is a short period of time when a property remains empty before the new tenant moves in, at Spencer we encourage this and usually suggest a week between tenancies. It can be a beneficial time to ensure the property is ready to be re-let by having any maintenance work and cleaning carried out so it’s in tip-top condition for new tenants.
However, this is not always the case and unfortunately some properties remain empty for a period of time. Every landlord should be trying to minimise the void periods where possible, because at the end of the day empty properties cost money. Whether it be through the mortgage, council tax, utility bills or service charge there is always some cost the landlord has to pay.
There are a number of things that landlords and agents can do to ensure void periods (AND COSTS!) are kept to a minimum.
1) Start marketing early
At Spencer we always contact our tenants at least 2 months before their move out date to find out their intentions at the end of the tenancy, we aim to advertise properties 6-8 weeks before the available date. This means that any prospective tenants looking for a new home have plenty of time to give notice on their current property.
2) Renew contracts without delay – avoid periodic where possible
As mentioned above we always contact tenants 2 months before their vacating date to find out their intentions, this gives plenty of time to arrange any contract renewals. Where possible we advise landlords against periodic contracts as it means that tenants can give their one month notice at any time, if a tenant was to give notice in the winter months then it can be more difficult to re-let the property.
3) Keep an eye on the property during tenancies
We recommend carrying out regular inspections on rental properties to ensure that they are being looked after by the tenants and that any maintenance issues are noticed and dealt with quickly & efficiently. At Spencer we carry out regular property inspections and provide our landlord with a full report and photos on the condition of the property.
4) Keep the property in good condition
Once you have a good tenant in your property it’s important to keep it in good condition for them to want to stay, maintenance issues should be dealt with quickly & efficiently and we recommend being open and accommodating to reasonable tenant’s requests. Ongoing investment in the property especially in bathrooms and kitchens can also help secure tenants and always helps when re letting the property.
5) Utilities – take meter readings!
As soon as a tenant vacates meter readings should be taken of all the utilities, this ensures that landlords aren’t paying for the previous tenant’s usage, it ensures the void period costs are kept to a minimum. As part of the check-out process we take all meter readings to provide to landlords along with a detailed check out report.
6) Expect a void period
The average void period in the UK per year is between 2 and 4 weeks, it is recommended to budget for one month per year to avoid any unexpected costs.
7) Find good tenants – and keep them!!
The best way to minimise void periods is to avoid them completely!! Once you have the right tenant in your property, at Spencer we fully reference and credit check all our tenants and always ensure they are the best fit for your property. We then work constantly to ensure tenants are happy and keep them in your property! If you don’t believe us just check our 5* Facebook and Google reviews!
Whether you are a landlord letting your property for the first time or a landlord stuck with a vacant property, our focus and attention at Spencer will always be to provide you with practical and honest advice. If you need help re-letting your property please get in touch with our rental team.