How Landlords Can Stop Rising Void Periods

Landlords, are we right in saying those void periods are your kryptonite?

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You’re left with an empty property that ends up costing money instead of making it. It’s not a good situation to be in, and it’s one that you will try and avoid as much as possible.

We’re not here to sell you a jar of snake oil that will make those pesky void periods disappear. And there’s no point sugar-coating things either. Last month (September 2019) saw voids increase by 63%, with properties sitting empty for an average of 18 days. The overall number for the year is even higher and currently sits at 20 days.

Experiencing some level of void periods is part and parcel of the buy-to-let business, but do these latest figures point to a new trend? Or is it merely a case of circumstance that will correct itself shortly?

We’re here to look at the current void figures and, more importantly, recommend how you can minimise those empty periods in your home and keep your property tenanted in the long term.

Walking through the void

England and Wales saw an increase in voids throughout September, with only London bucking the trend. The capital even represented a bright spot and saw a reduction in void periods from August to September, dropping down from 14 to 11 days.

Empty chair in sunlight

The West Midlands didn’t fare so well, however. It saw the most prolonged period, with voids lasting for 34 days. Over in the north, the outlook was slightly more encouraging as it saw the void periods of just 10 days, the shortest in the country. However, this number was still up by three days from seven in the previous month.

Reasons behind the drop

Rental prices could have played a factor in the void increase, though it’s hard to pinpoint their exact role. In London, for example, monthly rentals saw their most significant hike of the year, from £1,684 to £1,820 – an 8% rise. And yet voids dropped in the capital.

The end of the summer rush could be the real reason behind the drop. May through to August tends to be a busy time on the rental market: families look for new homes in time for the start of the school year, students try to source accommodation before uni, and people relocate for new jobs.

By September, the furore to find a new place has tempered somewhat. It’s not uncommon for there to be a slight dip during the autumn and winter months, especially in a year where Brexit should reach its climax.

Thankfully, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s unlikely that the latest void stats signal a long-term trend.

The UK private rental sector is expected to increase by 24% by 2021, and you can be safe in the knowledge that demand will continue – even if there is the odd dip here and there.

And there are ways to minimise those annoying voids – even in the months of slower rental movement.

A smarter way of letting

At mashroom, we’re creating a better way for landlords to let their property – one that minimises void periods and keeps a consistent flow of tenants. By working with your outgoing tenant, you can increase the chances of securing a new renter before the old one has vacated the property.

You instruct the outgoing tenant to show new renters around the property on your behalf while they’re still in situ. There are no intermediaries complicating things, and it’s a direct one-to-one interaction between outgoing tenant and new renters. The experience is more seamless and efficient.

Once the outgoing tenant has secured a new tenant, they will be rewarded with one week’s rent, and you have a tenant lined up. It’s a win-win-win.

Not only is it a cost-effective way to let your property; you also have the best possible person to show new renters around: your current tenant.

Minimising voids

While there’s no way to guarantee those pesky void periods disappear for good, we believe that working with your outgoing tenant represents the best way to reduce them. They already live in your property and know everything about it and the local area.

They can tell new renters everything they need to know in a way letting agents can’t – and  there’s a financial incentive on top. The result means you can breathe easy knowing that you have a new tenant secured before they old one moves out.

Learn more about our Tenant Team Up package and how you can start minimising voids.

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