For landlords, having an unoccupied property for a lengthy period of time is bad news. Not only are you losing rental income, but you may still also be paying for things like ground rent and insurance, a buy-to-let mortgage, council tax, and gas and electricity services.
While void periods are generally out of your control, there are ways to minimise them and keep tenants sticking around for longer.
Here at Island Lettings, we’ve come up with five ways to actively manage your property to limit void periods in the future.
Set a competitive rental price
Potential tenants are more likely to be attracted to a rental property with a competitive rate, so you want to get the price just right. To ensure that your property is priced correctly, consider researching what else is available in the local area and ensure that you are providing value for money.
Set the price too high and tenants will look elsewhere. Set it too low, however, and you risk selling your rental property short. For instance, if your property is being viewed regularly and is well-presented but you are struggling to find a tenant, chances are the price is too high.
Of course, you can always count on a letting agent who is active in the local market to help you to price your property accordingly.
Once you’ve found your ideal tenants, you want to make sure that everything is in place to prevent any delays with the tenancy getting started. Having an efficient system for compiling all documents, utilities information and finance checks will make things easier for you in the long run and can be the start of a successful and smooth-running tenancy.
You may also want to avoid periodic tenancy agreements as these usually mean the tenant only has to give one month’s notice, making things more problematic for you at times when fewer tenants are looking to move.
Add value to your rental property
It goes without saying that the property should be well-presented before, during and after a tenancy. As a landlord, you want to entice prospective tenants as much as you can.
You can do this by ensuring the property is professionally cleaned and that any repairs, painting jobs or replacements are completed before the moving in date. This can help you to start building a good relationship with your new tenants.
Get good tenants and keep them
It’s important that you choose tenants that you know will look after the property well. To ensure this, you want to make sure that you complete the right referencing checks.
Once you’ve found suitable tenants, you should do everything necessary to keep them happy. This includes dealing with problems promptly, setting realistic rent increases, keeping up with maintenance and offering a long-term tenancy.
You could even consider leaving a welcome basket filled with all the things that will make life easier for the tenant when they arrive at the start of their tenancy, from tea bags to washing up liquid. It’s small gestures like these that can make a big difference in the long-term.
Advertise as soon as possible
As soon as your existing tenant gives notice to leave, you want to line up the next tenancy with minimum delay. This means marketing the property at least four to six weeks before the current tenants move out. Even if the property isn’t ready to let, it’s still possible to advertise for a specific date and get exposure on major property portals such as Rightmove.
Staying organised and planning ahead can help to ensure a quick turnaround of tenants at the end of each tenancy – effectively reducing rental voids and maximising profitalandbility.
Of course, it’s more cost-effective to keep existing tenants for as long as possible, so ensure that you are providing a high level of service and support to keep them satisfied.
If you require more information about how we can assist you with your tenants and rental property on the Isle of Wight, please get in touch with us on: 01981 521112.
We also provide free and instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much your property is worth and what rents you could be charging each month.