Periods of time when a property is vacant are generally known as ‘void periods’.
Having a long period of time where your property is without a tenant, means that the room or property isn’t bringing in any rental income which can impact your property investment.
Whilst you should always allow for short periods where your property is unoccupied, whether that be for a tenant changeover or for maintenance works to be carried out, for the majority of the time, ideally, the property should be tenanted. It is important to budget for times when you will not be receiving a rental income, so it is worthwhile working out your mortgage costs and any additional costs to work out the maximum length your property can be unoccupied before it becomes a financial cause of concern. On average the majority of rental properties are occupied for 11 of the 12 months, so it is best practice to prepare for at least one month of no rental income. It is also worth bearing in mind that you are still responsible for the running costs of a property when unoccupied, which may include things such as utilities, insurance and council tax, as well as marketing/advertising costs to help you find a new tenant.
Below we list some of the ways in which landlords can combat lower void periods.
As the rental market continues to grow, so does the tenants expectations and standards they wish to live in, as this is no longer just a short term solution for people. Ensure the property is kept up to date, particularly kitchens and bathrooms. By keeping on top of the small and maintenance issues, you will also be more likely to avoid large, expensive repairs which will require the property to vacated.
A full referencing check on your tenants will give you the security of a positive rental history, who are less likely to break the condition of their rental contract. This means they also more likely to stay in the tenancy for longer which also helps limits void periods.
Don’t try and charge too much for the rent, otherwise, you will price yourself out of the market. Make sure the rent you charge is competitive and you may have to adjust your expectations accordingly. If you slightly lower the rent you may minimise any void periods this way.
If you know your tenant is moving out, you should begin marketing your property as soon as they have confirmed their vacating date, it’s a good idea to go into the property at this stage to check the condition for viewings and as an opportunity to take any up to date photos if required.
Making sure you have all the up to date paperwork will prevent any delayed move-ins or unoccupied periods. For example, having an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), gas safety and Rent Smart Wales license.
Ensuring you act quickly on all repairs, will not only help maintain the property to a high standard but will also result in a more positive and potentially long-lasting tenancy.
If you have a property that is currently unoccupied and you are looking for tenants, please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding the letting and management of your property.