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Void periods: The dreaded curse of the modern-day landlord

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It’s one of the most dangerous terms associated with being a landlord, with void periods responsible for a significant loss of earnings.

Let’s not forget that as well as not earning from your property while it’s vacant; you’re still responsible for the bills (including council tax and insurance for your rental property), which make these periods exceptionally expensive.

So, is there anything that you can do to mitigate the risks? Today, we’ll look at some hard and fast tips to apply to your property business.

Don’t be “that landlord”

We’ve coined the term “that landlord” for good reason. After all, landlords generally have a reasonably unfair reputation – with many tenants suffering at the hands of bad property management.

Don’t be “that landlord”. The one constantly causing problems for their tenants, who doesn’t carry out repairs, and ignores their calls and emails. Or, even worse, the one who promises to make the repairs – but never sticks to their word.

In other words, be a good landlord. It’ll make your life a lot easier, and you’ll be far less likely to end up with a void period.

Communicate with your tenants

Next on the list is communication. One of the best ways to prevent a void period is to have a good relationship with your tenants. This means keeping them updated on any changes to the property, such as planned maintenance or repairs, and being available to answer any queries they may have.

Again, it all revolves around being “that landlord”. Be the one who is proactive, not reactive.

Be flexible with tenancy agreements

Another way to avoid void periods is to be flexible with your tenancy agreements. Let’s not forget that once the initial tenancy expires, most progress to a month-to-month arrangement.

Clearly, this is something that doesn’t favour you as the landlord, but it’s also something that provides minimal certainty to a tenant. After all, both parties can serve only a short period of notice.

Bearing this in mind, talk to your tenant about what they’re planning, and try and secure longer-term periodic tenancies which will work for both of you.

Allow tenants to put their own touch on a property

A final method is to allow tenants to put their own touch on a property. This could be anything from putting up pictures to painting walls.

Let’s not forget that while this might be an investment property for you, for the tenants, this is home. It means that they’ll want to inject their own personality into it, and while you have every right to protect the building, a little flexibility can go a long way.

Sure, draw the line at knocking walls down (or any actions anywhere close to that, for that matter!). However, when it comes to minor decoration, this is where you can really stand out and prove that your property is one to stay for the long term.