They’re the stuff of nightmares, sleepless nights, endless worrying and a bucket load of stress. No landlord wants to be caught up in a rental void period. Unfortunately, they’re pretty common and easy to fall into. This can be really damaging to landlords with a smaller portfolio. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can implement to avoid them altogether. Here are our 8 tips for preventing void periods. If you know of any more that could help other landlords, get in touch on Twitter.
1. Properly Maintain Your Property
So, let’s get this one out the way early. There could be an underlying reason why no one wants to rent your property. Ensure everything’s tidy, clean and in a liveable condition. Bathrooms and kitchens are key selling points of your property – do they need any work? Would a quick renovation boost your chances of attracting new tenants? The appearance of your property matters.
2. Advertise Everywhere (and Early)
It’s surprising to some but landlords do require marketing skills. Especially if you’re privately renting, you need to be able to market your property. Advertise your property everywhere you can, from local newspapers to online sites. If you want to stay away from void periods as much as possible, it’s important to advertise your property as early as you can. Don’t wait till the house/flat has been vacated.
3. Charge Reasonable Rent
Don’t inflate the rent you’re charging for the sake of it. Do your research and find out the average rent for the area. Then question how your property compares to the area’s average. Above all, charge a fair rent. You may be tempted to undercut the area’s average rent to ensure your property is seen as more attractive. Be warned, this could change the type of tenant you let to. Consider a deal including amenities if you want to make your listing more appealing.
4. Pick Good Tenants
This is a tricky one but will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you can let to good tenants you’ll reduce the risk of sudden changes in circumstance. Unfortunately even the best tenants can have unpredictable lives and there’s no simple way to get around this. Also, it’s very tricky to tell which tenants are genuinely ‘good’. Screening checks don’t tell the full story. The best tenants are steady and secure in their careers and lives.
5. Be Open Minded
It’s always important to have an open mind with potential tenants. Whether they’re looking to redecorate parts of the property or live with a pet, you may not like it but it’s worth considering. A tenant with a pet is likely to be more stable. Whereas a tenant who wants to redecorate will likely see themselves in the property for an extended period of time.
6. Why Not Try a HMO?
If you rent in an area popular with students or young professionals, it may be worth considering turning your let into a house in multiple occupation. You’ll need to adhere to specific licence rules about health and safety but it’s nothing a reasonable landlord couldn’t keep up with. This way, when one tenant moves out, you’re still making money from the other occupants.
7. Upgrade Your Furniture
Back to what we said earlier about how appearance is everything. If you’re offering a furnished property, it may be worth making a few extra purchases. Upgrading furniture will give your property a new lease of life. It could be the difference between attracting new tenants or not.
8. Be Approachable and Professional
Whether you like it or not, as a landlord you could be the reason between a tenant taking your property or not. If you turn up to a house viewing late, wearing sandals and shorts you’ll look unprofessional. Dress well, be prompt, appear approachable and ensure the tenant knows you’re professional.
When you start renting, don’t neglect the importance of a full and accurate inventory. Remove the possibility of disputes with No Letting Go’s inventory services.
Buying a house is becoming less and less possible to many people in the current climate. More of us are abandoning the mortgage and sticking to the rental arena for much of our lives. But where are the cheapest places to rent in the UK? Furthermore, what are they actually like? Take a look at our definitive list for more insight. All average rent figures are from the Valuation Office Agency’s 2015-2016 data.
10. County Durham – £450pcm
Before the £450pcm rent and £1.30 pints get you too interested, we must warn you County Durham isn’t for everyone. Durham is deemed to be the most beautiful Cathedral city in the UK. Despite this, the traffic is a huge turn-off for some, while the university student vs local youth rivalry is claimed to regularly bubble over on Saturday evenings.
Having said this, there are plenty of great reasons to pack up your bags and head to Durham. The area offers beautiful sights, especially at night. While the country walks and close-by national parks propose a more refined social life, the buzzy Newcastle is easily commutable. The injection of students to the city lend it a lifeline from its ageing appeal.
9. Darlington – £440pcm
Close neighbour to tenth spot, Darlington is described by The Guardian as an ‘unexpectedly pleasant town’. Parts of the centre are politely labelled as ‘dreary’ while the winters are considered devastating to the uninitiated. If you can look beyond this, you’ll see a high employment rate of 72% and a life expectancy slightly higher than the national average. Cost of living is cheap and residents seem both cheerful and patriotic in their support of the area.
8. Barnsley – £427pcm
There’s a lot of negative chat about Barnsley. Once a British powerhouse with strong industrial, agricultural and mining roots, today the town is in need of a bit of TLC. Despite the need for revival, a £427pcm average rent is still attractive. If you look a little further into the area, you’ll see it has a lot to offer. Luscious countryside and excellent transport routes to key cities like Sheffield make the town more appealing.
7. Bolsover – £435pcm
Another former mining town, Bolsover is also a mixed bag when it comes to resident reviews. Some cite its troublesome youth culture while others completely dismiss such comments. An overall pleasant feel is said to infect the town while its community spirit is strong and prosperous.
6. North East Lincolnshire – £425pcm
North East Lincolnshire has some pretty reasonable rent at £425pcm but it also has a pretty bad rep among some residents. One of the more noticeable issues is its poor mobile coverage. The area gets only 87% coverage which sounds high but the majority of areas in the UK receive 99%. The average income is higher than its surrounding areas while employment rate is spot-on average. Overall, it seems to offer a positive vibe which reverberates through internet comment pieces and resident forums.
5. Stoke-on-Trent – £435pcm
Stoke-on-Trent gets a lot of bad press online. In fact, the town was recently the topic of fierce debate after being labelled as the eighth-worst place to live in the UK according to website ilivehere.com. Thankfully though, a handful of resolute residents came to the town’s support. Dwellers of the Staffordshire city praised its friendly citizens, luscious green spaces and ‘overall nice feel’. One person even dubbed the town ‘a real place, for real people, in the real world’. For an average of £435pcm on rent, there’s plenty of reasons to head to Stoke-on-Trent and pledge your support to the town.
4. Pendle – £435pcm
Say what you want about Pendle, parts of it are truly beautiful. The Lancashire Borough was referred to as the most anxious place to live in the UK according to an Office for National Statistics study but we’ll look beyond this. The truth is, if you’re the type who loves the feel of former mill towns and socialising with strong jawed no-nonsense villagers, you’ll love it here.
3. Hyndburn – £435pcm
There are two ways to look at Hyndburn. Either you look towards the desolate streets of Woodnook, Accrington that are filled with boarded houses and industrial age architecture. Or you look towards the low unemployment rates, low crime rates and general community spirit of the wider Hyndburn area. Now may even be the perfect time to move to the borough. Some of the vacant areas including much of the empty homes in Woodnock are set to see a revamp in the coming years. Who knows, your £435pcm rent could be a steal in years to come.
2. Burnley – £400pcm
Back in 2007 Channel 4 aired an episode of ‘Location, Location, Location 20 Best and Worst Places to Live’. In this they labelled Burnley as the 19th worst place to live in the UK. What we love about this scenario is how the people of Burnley rallied together and blasted the show for it. It’s clear this town does not lack community spirit.
If you’re keen on a no-nonsense style of living, this is certainly a place for you. Burnley offers a high quality of life coupled with picturesque countryside albeit a little rough around the edges.
1. Hull – £395pcm
Hull is a city to truly divide opinion. Some say it’s one of the best places to live in the UK, others say it’s one of the worst. There’s no denying the city was once considered the butt of many a joke. Though today it’s in the middle of a huge revamp. Initial laughing points like its fishy smell and obesity rates have been replaced with commendation for how far the area’s come. To the extent that it’s actually UK City of Culture 2017. We’re not surprised people are escaping to the city for its average rent of £395pcm and bustling streets.
Want to keep costs down? Avoid the pains of inventories and deposit disputes. Take a look at No Letting Go’s inventory services to find out exactly how we can help ease the process.