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5 Tips to Keep Rental Voids to a Minimum

Friday, 23rd September 2011

Categories: Lettings

Author: Peter Barry

Many people choose to own a second property as a long-term investment: perhaps as an alternative or an addition to a pension policy, or for extra financial security. As with any investment of this nature, a second property is generally kept for a number of years, in order to maximise gains and to surf the peaks and troughs of the property market. If you rent your property to tenants, you will be constantly aware of the need to keep any void periods to a minimum – any time the property is empty is time that you are losing rent and possibly subsidising mortgage payments. Void periods are inevitable to a certain extent but there are a number of steps you can take to make sure your rental property never stays empty for long.

1 Sign on the dotted line
Whether you let out your property to friends or strangers, always insist on a contract. This keeps both parties focused and ensures that notice periods are met. If your tenants have paid a substantial deposit, they’re more likely to stick to the contract and keep the property in tip-top condition.

2. Advertise in plenty of time
If your tenants have given notice, don’t delay in advertising your property. There’s no harm in registering it with an agent well ahead of the moving date and generating interest. Not many people can move immediately and a lived-in property looks better in viewings than an empty one.

3. Be particular about particulars
Keep your property particulars updated so that your agent can get them online as soon as you’ve been given notice. If you’ve done any work on the property, or you’ve installed new appliances since it was last on the market, then make sure this is mentioned.

4. Be a stickler for maintenance
Be a good landlord and keep your property well maintained. This isn’t just to appease the current tenants; it means the property will be ready for viewings when the time arrives. Many void periods are as a result of renovation or maintenance so stay on top of things.

5. Choose tenants carefully
It’s important not to just take the first offer from the first potential tenant. Do some basic checks to make sure they’re serious and are in a position to move quickly. If a potential tenant has a deposit and references ready to go, delays will be kept to a minimum.

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