Final Countdown: Are you prepared to put the X in a box?

Top tips for avoiding the void

Many of us have started 2018 with a positive resolution. There’s plenty of talk of healthy living regimes, learning new languages, and cycling to work. Top of many of our to-do lists is to save a little more money every month. A great plan – until you find yourself with a property in a void period.

However, is there anything you can do to keep this particular resolution on track? Property Quote Direct share their top tips for avoiding the voids

Build a good relationship with tenants

Often your tenants will have an idea that they will be looking to move – if you have a good relationship with them from the start of their tenancy they are more likely to be able to open the conversation with you as soon as they know. Whilst this may only give you a couple more weeks’ notice, it could make all the difference!

React quickly to problems

If your tenants come to you with a maintenance issue, concern or problem, try to rectify it as quickly as you can, or at least work with them on it. Happy tenants, who feel like they are able communicate well with their landlord, are more likely to remain in the property.

Recognise property patterns

Are you seeing familiar patterns in the same property, and can you pre-empt a tenant handing in their notice? For example, if you regularly take on tenants from the same company, who always hand in their notice after a year it could be worth considering that the company only run year-long contracts? They may be fantastic tenants with very reliable rental income, you just need to factor in the regular change – don’t let it put you off, just build it in to your annual property plan.

Don’t dwell on bad news

Whilst it can be hugely frustrating to receive the phone call from a great tenant letting you know that they are moving on, the best thinking to do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and put a plan in place to get your property advertised as soon as possible.

Rent Guarantee Insurance

Whilst in an ideal world, a new tenant would move in the day after an old tenant moved out, sometimes there is nothing you can do and your property will stand empty for a period. Whilst this is frustrating, you can make sure it doesn’t impact your finances too much by making sure you are covered by a rent guarantee insurance. This doesn’t cost a fortune, and can really ease the pressure of ongoing mortgage payments and bills.

Don’t wait until the property has been vacated

Whilst you don’t want to impose on your existing tenant, once they have handed in their notice they are likely to understand the need to show potential new tenants around the property (having built a good relationship comes in useful here)! Wherever possible do try and group viewings together so you minimise the impact you have on them though, and don’t forget, you have to request their permission to gain access to the property 24 hours’ in advance if you wish to access to the property.

Act in haste, repent in leisure

Whilst it might seem tempting, skipping through vital letting steps to rush a tenant through the process so you can avoid your property sitting empty is never a good idea. In the long run, it is far more important to have a couple of weeks void period, and be confident that you have undertaken a thorough referencing procedure, correct right to rent checks, properly protected your new tenant’s deposits and carried out a comprehensive inventory, rather than rushing your new tenant in – a little lost income is nothing compared to breaking the law!

Use the time wisely

If you are doing to have a period of your property not being occupied, why not use the time to carry out any maintenance work that is required. It can be tricky to update kitchen, or refit carpets whilst you have a tenant in situ, so why not take the opportunity to give your property a facelift?

Whilst it’s tricky to pre-empt a void period, prior preparation can help keep the disruption from this pesky problem issue to a minimum.

If you want to help keep your New Year’s savings resolution on track, the team at Property Quote Direct can help provide more information on a variety of insurances, designed to help prepare for every eventuality… Contact the team on 0800 515 381 to see how they can help.

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