Top tips for reducing tenant void periods
The savviest landlords know that it’s possible to minimise void periods by acting fast and knowing how to find tenants quickly. The good news is that new data shows the incidence of void periods has declined over the last 18 months, reaching its lowest level for the last five years.
After peaking at 39% during the third quarter of 2020, the proportion of landlords reporting void periods has steadily declined, with just one in four (25%) having experienced empty rental properties during the previous three months.
The survey of landlords found that the decrease is driven by a reduction in those with portfolios consisting of six or more properties indicating that one of their rental properties had remained vacant recently. One of the most notable shifts seen in void incidences can be seen in Central London, further evidence of the capital’s rental market resurgence.
Splitting the data by region reveals that the greatest incidence of recent void periods was seen by landlords in Wales, with 39% facing at least one empty let. This compares with the South West and East of England where a substantially lower proportion (23%) of landlords have reported voids.
In the third quarter of 2020, driven by the pandemic, 68% of landlords operating in Central London recorded a void period, the highest proportion of any region. Today, the region sits below the national average after just 24% of landlords experienced a void within the last three months.
To minimise any void periods, it’s important landlords make sure that properties are well-maintained and ready for new tenants as soon as possible after the previous tenant moves out. This means carrying out regular repairs and having a clean, tidy property.
Having an up-to-date inventory list and condition report is also essential so that you can quickly assess any damage caused by the previous tenant and have it repaired.
In addition, landlords should make sure they have good-quality photos of each property and a well-written description. Keeping rental prices in line with the market rates, and being available to show potential tenants around the property at short notice, will all help.
Top tips for reducing void periods
Finding the right tenants It’s important to carefully screen potential tenants and only rent to those who are likely to stay in the property for the long term.
Regularly inspecting the property Checking on the property regularly can help identify any potential problems or maintenance issues that need to be addressed.
Maintaining a positive relationship with tenants Keeping communication open and being responsive to tenant requests will help create a positive relationship and reduce the chances of them moving out.
Set the rent competitively Take a pragmatic approach to this and remain flexible and if you’re struggling to price your rental competitively, a local lettings agent will be able to provide advice.
Offering incentives Offering incentives, such as a discount on the first three months of rent or utility bills, can be a great way to encourage tenants to stay in the property.
Offer longer lets While many landlords only offer six months, generally speaking, longer lets attract more reliable and stable tenants while giving you peace of mind for longer.
Get insurance Rent guarantee insurance covers the rent if the tenant defaults on payments or if your rental is left empty, usually covering you up to 90 days.
With sustained strong tenant demand, it comes as little surprise that void periods have reached a five-year low, but by following our tips you can minimise void periods.
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 BVA BDRC surveyed 796 landlords during December 2021 on behalf of Paragon Bank.
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