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How do I avoid voids?

How to reduce the risk of lost income due to void periods

Void periods are an inevitability, to a certain extent. That’s the bold truth of the matter. But for landlords who need to maximise returns on their investment property, that’s not always good enough. It’s for this reason My Cosy Homes offers a guaranteed rent scheme to landlords in South East London and West Midlands.

How does rent guarantee work?

Rent guarantee provides a landlord with an assurance they will receive a rental income on a monthly basis, even if their property is vacant. Through our scheme, My Cosy Homes offers a fixed monthly rent for up to five years – which means no loss of income or voids during that period.

However, for landlords without rent guarantee, void periods are possible.

What is a void period?

A void period is a time when the property is empty, and therefore not generating any rent for the landlord. Even though there is no tenant, bills and other costs will still apply, such as mortgage repayments. As a landlord, you will want to keep void periods to a minimum for as long as you let out the property.

Reducing the risk of voids

In reducing void periods, landlords without rent guarantee can try the following:

Offer longer-term rentals

Naturally, with a longer-term rental you expect fewer voids, simply because rental terms don’t end so frequently. When a tenancy ends, there’s always a risk you could have an empty property for days, weeks, or even months. By offering short-term rentals to tenants, you’re more likely to experience a time when the property is empty and therefore not generating you an income. If you’re in a position to do so and know you don’t want to sell the property any time soon, look to offer a longer tenancy to prospective tenants. This will give both you and the tenant more security and stability.

Invest in repairs and maintenance

An attractive, functioning property will encourage a tenant to remain in the property for longer. If you invest in your property, then you’ll have a place that will both retain current tenants and attract new tenants. The more maintenance problems which arise while the property is tenanted, the more likely your current tenant will become fed up and what to leave the property. Keep the tenant happy but investing in the property.

Set a realistic rent

You can be guided by your letting agent here. The rent needs to be proportionate to the rents being charged by landlords with similar properties in the area. The rent you set needs to be realistic, and seen as realistic by tenants, as this will encourage them to rent the property and remain in the property.

Make sure the property is secure. This goes hand in hand with maintaining the property. If a tenant – or prospective tenant on a viewing – thinks the property is secure, they are more likely to want to live in the property and stay living in the property. Even if crime statistics are quite high in the area, a secure property will make a tenant feel safe, which will encourage the tenant to remain.

Buy a property in the best location

If you really want to minimise voids, invest in a property that is in a sought-after location. In London, you can generally guarantee a steady flow of tenants. But think carefully before you invest. Do you want to rent to students? If so, find somewhere near to university halls and colleges. No one wants to live too far away from shops and other amenities. Also look to the future, and check whether any transport improvements are taking place. Is there plans for investment or regeneration in the area? All these factors should help you find the best property in the right area, which should help to reduce void periods when you come to let the property.

The one benefit of a void period

Yes, there is one. If the property needs major maintenance work carried out, or the carpets need replacing throughout the property, or the walls and ceilings need redecorating, then these jobs are easier to carry out if the property is vacant. If work like this needs doing, you can arrange for it to be completed while the property is between tenants.

It all comes back to rent guarantee

You can guarantee your rent today. Why worry about voids when you can enjoy a fixed monthly rent for up to five years? With My Cosy Homes, there’s no commission or management fees to pay. Our scheme simply allows you to get on with your life and not worry about voids.

Contact us today to find out more.

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