Landlords urged to minimise voids to maximise rental returns

Thu 17 May 2018

Landlords must take steps to minimise void periods in order to achieve the best possible return on their property.

Property specialist Leaders has warned of the importance of eliminating spells without tenants wherever possible and, when the time comes for a tenant to move on, ensuring they are replaced quickly with a quality applicant.

Recent research shows the average tenancy in the UK runs for 18 months before tenants move out. In Birmingham this figure rises to 28 months, but in Leeds it is just 12 months. Leaders’ landlords, however, enjoy significantly longer tenancies with tenants currently staying almost three years (35.3 months) on average.

Allison Thompson, managing director (lettings) at Leaders, says: “By only allowing a quality applicant to rent our landlords’ properties and working closely with them to ensure their time in their rented home is as enjoyable as possible, we are able to increase the likelihood of tenants remaining in place for a significant period of time which gives landlords stability and peace of mind. It also ensures that the landlord’s investment is more profitable, which is a huge focus for us.

“However, it is inevitable tenants will move on at some point, so acting quickly and efficiently to remarket the property, setting the rent to the right level for the current market and preparing for any decorative work to attract the best tenants is the best way to ensure the property continues to generate rental income.

“It is also incredibly important that landlords allow for void periods in their calculations regarding the affordability of owning a rental property.”

The study, conducted by Direct Line for Business, found it takes an average of 22 days to find a new tenant for a vacant property, with some regional variations. Leaders’ landlords, however, experience significantly shorter voids between tenancies, on average less than 10 days.

Allison explains: “The key is to be prepared for all scenarios and to have a plan in place to replace current tenants. We keep our landlords’ void periods to a minimum by acting quickly to market their property before a tenancy comes to an end. In most cases we have found and fully vetted a new tenant before the previous tenant has moved out.

“However, in some cases, a short void period can actually have a positive impact. It provides an ideal opportunity to carry out repairs and maintenance work to ensure the property is able to achieve its full rental potential and attract quality tenants who will want to make it their long-term home.”

For more information on letting a property or for advice on the local market, please contact your nearest Leaders branch.