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Mind The Gap

By Peter Greatorex, Managing Director, The Apartment Company

MIND THE GAP! No, I’m not talking about the giant white letters on the London Underground… I am referring to ‘void periods.’

 

These are when there’s a gap between tenancies, or when you first let something out, meaning an apartment is empty and not generating any rent for its landlord. Void periods are bad news as you’ll never get that money back, so here are my top tips to help minimise them:

 

Find a good letting agent. Choose an agent who has experience in letting apartments and is honest about local market conditions. Ensure they provide good quality tenants and can organise keys, paperwork, tenant checks etc quickly and efficiently.

 

Price your rent correctly. Some letting agents promise unrealistic rents to win your business. Do your research, otherwise you risk having your property empty. It’s so important to get this right at the outset. It’s financially better for you to receive £1,600 for 12 months (£19,200/year) for example, than to get £1,800 for 10 months (£18,000).

 

Is your apartment rental-ready? Your apartment must be appealing. Think about internet connection, mobile reception, security, cleanliness, décor, repairs, central heating and provide modern fixtures and fittings.

 

Offer ‘unfurnished.’ Most tenants have furniture already.

 

Consider pets. Check your lease first but there’s strong demand for pet-friendly homes. If you’re not allowing them, you risk your apartment not being suitable for a big pool of tenants.

 

Don’t pick the lowest fee. Your goal is to ensure long-term financial success. Those charging higher fees tend to have everything in place to help make that happen.

 

Keep long-term tenants. Avoid gaps altogether by keeping tenants as long as possible. Build a good relationship with them by responding to their requests, keep up with maintenance and think carefully before increasing rent.