Buy-to-let tips: keeping voids low
- 18th July 2012
- Property Tips
A successful investment is all about high occupancy rates.
Stephen Ludlow, Chairman of ludlowthompson, comments: "Rents have been going up for several years now and stand at very high levels.
"With many landlords also benefiting from very cheap mortgage repayments due to historically low interest rates, a property that is let will provide excellent returns. A good quality tenant signed up for a year or even longer is the basis for some really great total returns."
Here are five tips from ludlowthompson on how to avoid voids.
1. Know your tenants intentions before the notice period
Stephen Ludlow explains: "Knowing in plenty of time when current tenants are planning to leave means the landlord can line up a new tenancy with as short a void period as possible. Generally tenants have to give 2 months notice at the end of the tenancy, but the sooner you know the better.
"While it is possible to find tenants for a property very quickly, landlords are more likely to find a better tenant if they have a longer period to play with. The ideal position is for the new tenancy to start within a handful of days of the old tenancy ending."
2. Realistic pricing on rents to attract tenants
Landlords that are too aggressive on rents often end up with tenants who quit the property as soon as their break clause becomes active because they are struggling to pay the rent. Often it is better to be slightly less aggressive on rents and to focus on a high quality tenant.
3. Focus on quality of tenant
A good quality tenant with a steady, well-paid job is a real boon to reducing void levels. Not only will they be able to pay the rent, but they are more likely to want to stay put for more than a year, reducing the frequency with which the landlord will need to find replacement tenants.
Good tenants also tend to cost less in maintenance and repairs, as they invest more in the property themselves.
4. Longer term contract?
Stephen Ludlow says: "With rents as high as they are, we think now is a great time for landlords to consider offering their tenants a longer term contract, for two or three years. Locking in high rents is a great way to protect an investment against rental income volatility and to increase total returns by stamping out void periods."
5. Proactive marketing to secure tenants quickly
When a tenancy does come to an end, it is important to have a really proactive, professional letting agent on-side to help deliver a range of potential tenants for the landlord to choose between.
Alongside experienced letting agents with really strong knowledge of the local lettings markets they cover, ludlowthompson provides all its landlords with a full suite of online marketing tools so that every property finds the perfect tenant, including:
- Photo tour of the property.
- Full room-by-room description of the property with detailed floor plans.
- Interactive map, featuring all the latest amenities.
- Online book a viewing request.
- Integrated journey planner from TFL to tenants can work out their commute.
Rents have been going up for several years now and stand at very high levels.
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