In this particular case, as a landlord your principal customers, of course, are the tenants who pay you the rent to live in your property.
Keeping your buy to let property fully tenanted, and reducing the “voids” when no one lives there, is likely to be a priority business aim for landlords. Such voids occur when one set of tenants move out and your property remains vacant until new tenants can be found. The simple fact remains, however, that your stream of rental income completely dries up during such vacancies.
If your the landlord, the good news is that the current average duration of such a void in rental property in the UK is presently just 3 weeks (although this is still longer than any time during 2011), according to research by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
In order for your business as a landlord can ride the lost rental income of such voids, there are a few things you should consider in order to keep such vacancies or void periods to the minimum:
• Rent levels – the price at which you set the rent, of course, is also likely to determine how long you need to wait before new tenants want to take you up on it. If voids are becoming a problem, you might want to consider dropping the rent just a fraction to shorten the duration of any vacancies – in the longer-term therefore actually increasing your overall rental income;
• Agents – the landlord’s job is rarely an easy one, especially when it comes to finding and keeping reliable tenants. You might want to consider instructing a professional lettings agent to shoulder some of the burden and, in this way, reducing unnecessary voids;
• Tenants – one way of avoiding quite so many potential voids, of course, is by holding on to the tenants you already have. Fostering a good landlord-tenant relationship – by attending to requests for repairs in a prompt and timely manner, for example – could work wonders in ensuring trouble-free, long-lasting tenancies;
• Making the most of it – there are occasions when a void actually presents you with an opportunity, rather than a counter-productive drought of rental income. Even the best maintained buy to let property may need the kind of refurbishment or attention best given when there are no tenants in residence. You might choose to use these voids in a productive and ultimately rent-enhancing way, therefore, by planning any refurbishment or make-over during such vacancies.