What can you do to reduce drain and strain of void periods?

Void periods are one of the curses of lettings; they can be a drain on your landlord resources and also a strain trying to resolve them.  In haste, often you can make rash decisions that may not prove beneficial in the long term.  At Redmayne Miller Rees, we believe it is essential to put measures in place for the stability of any buy-to-let portfolio.  But what can you do to reduce the drain and the strain of void periods?


Any tenant will do


One mistake that some landlords make is to rush into agreeing a tenancy with the first tenants that show interest.  We understand that, from a financial point of view, you need to get your property let as soon as possible, but take a step back and evaluate the situation. Are these the right and best tenants for your property?  Being selective means you can ensure that you have the right tenants in place, ones that are seeking to make your property their home for the long term.


Provide high-quality management


We all know that when we receive poor service from a company our perception of that organisation shifts if it’s not handled properly.  Whether your property is managed by a letting agent such as ourselves or you’re self-managing, you need to ensure that the quality of what you provide is exceptional.  Communication is key; should something break, fix it quickly and properly and you will see that respect goes both ways. 


Never underestimate the security that high-quality management can provide tenants. Knowing that their landlord and letting agent are taking care of their home makes them feel more secure in where they live.  Therefore, unless something major changes, they are more than likely to extend their tenancy long after the renewal date.


Advance planning


All tenants will give notice when they are looking to move onto another property, so don’t sit and wait for one tenancy to end before you start looking for a new tenant.  Act quickly and begin marketing your property again as soon as possible, but remember to build in some time to freshen up the property between tenancies, that way, the new one will start on the right note.


Protect yourself


Have you put some funds away to protect your investment should you find yourself in a void period?  As most tenancies tend to be contracted for a 12-month period therefore it’s wise to save a minimum of one month’s rent budgeted to cover any loss of income caused by a void period between tenancies.  It’s important to keep a tight rein on your finances so you can minimise the risks that a void period can present for your entire portfolio.


Void periods happen, and it’s very rare to find an experienced landlord who hasn’t had to manage one or two.  It’s essential that you plan for such a situation so you don’t place an added strain on your lettings business and you’re not draining your resources either.  We are here to support all landlords should they wish us to manage their property or not!  For more advice on how to get the most out of your buy-to-let property portfolio, contact a member of our team today.