A void to a landlord is indeed a desperate thing. Because a void is where there is a gap between tenancies in letting a property. It’s a non-income earning period, and in fact these days can mean a negative cashflow period as councils will charge council tax for those days when the property is empty, let alone utility companies, etc. If the property has been letting for example at £900 per month, it is costing at least £30 in loss of income every single day it’s empty!

As a landlord you need to try and avoid a void like the plague! But it is inevitable at some point, and so you need to do what you can to minimise this period, or prevent it from happening in the first place. In this post and the next one I’ll be giving you some tips and advice on how to avoid the dreaded void period:
1. Understand why tenants hand in their notice so that you can avoid the triggers that
make them do so. 
hand-819279Of course there could be many reasons, some of which can’t be controlled, like a change in situation leading to the need to move on, but some can be avoided, for example if the reason is that they’re unhappy with the tenancy.
2. Guaranteed Rent. 
Look around to see if you can find a product that will guarantee that you will carry on receiving the rent if a tenancy goes wrong and the tenant refuses to pay. At EweMove we offer a 100% guaranteed rent product based on the FULL market rent, and it carries on paying during any eviction process. It’s one of our most popular products.
3. Ensure that good tenants stay longer. 
Here are 12 tips to help make good tenants stay:
  • Follow through on repair requests and other commitments.
  • If you are letting your property through an agent, do full due diligence on that agent to ensure that they are going to treat your tenants in the way you want your tenants treated.
  • Treat them as a client & human being, not just a rent payment. If their circumstances change in life, show some empathy & understanding and try to work with them to help them through. People can go into arrears  for all sorts of reasons – mental illness, redundancy, family crisis … many of these are short term and can be resolved by good communication with the tenant.
  • Schedule maintenance and repairs at times convenient for the tenants, and let them know in advance.
  • Respond quickly to complaints about noise or reports of criminal activity, such as drug dealing.
  • Provide designated parking spots and enforce parking rules.
  • Give the tenants advance notice of upcoming inconveniences that you’re aware of.
  • Understand that tenants want to feel safe at home.
  • Make sure all tenants follow the House Rules.
  • If you are allowing pets, make sure owners clean up after them!
  • Be polite, courteous, and professional.
  • Create opportunities to appreciate the good tenants.
4. Market your property for rent in good time and make sure your advertisement shows your property in the best possible light.
Property listings have 20 seconds to impress on-line. At EweMove we go out of our way to make sure our advertising stands out.
5. Understand what makes a property hard to let and avoid.
Here are some 6 things that will make a property very hard to let:
  • No natural light
Have you noticed how often on housing hunting programmes people remark on whether it
is “light and airy” or “dark”? Humans naturally need light so this is an important factor when choosing a property to make an attractive rental.
  • No storage
People acquire a lot of “stuff” through their lives. They want somewhere to store it. They
look for cupboards or rooms that will accommodate wardrobes. Some want loft space
and a garage … even a garden shed. No storage may mean no tenant.
  • No bath
Probably more a problem for females? It seems we Brits do like our baths though and if
people have young children, they want to bath the kids, not put them in the shower.
  • Horrible views
If your flat looks out over an unattractive council estate or even the bin-store, it can be a very depressing view indeed.
  • Weird shaped rooms and/or sloping ceilings
Tenants don’t mind smaller spaces, as long as there is room for a wardrobe or chest of
draws. They don’t like weird shaped rooms that will not fit furniture and they don’t like
sloping ceilings that do not allow a wardrobe to be placed in the room.
  • Stained sanitary ware
A loo that looks like it has never been cleaned and a bath with a black tide line round it
will put tenants off. A bathroom should always look like it has never been used by another
human being … that is what the hotel industry says.
Avoiding a void is so important for most landlords so in my next post, I’ll be writing about tenant turn offs, how to create a good impression and how to make sure you turn a viewing into a tenant or even a buyer.

Award winning EweMove in Dorking  are a residential property sales and lettings agency who pride themselves on being refreshingly different and standing out from the crowd. EweMove Dorking covers from Ockley to Oxshott.


Enquiries to 01306 406 506 / 01372 701 702, or via email to dorking@ewemove.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s