Landlords: Dealing With Void Periods

News at Household | 30/12/2019

The start of the year is often a challenging one for many people, and landlords are under considerable pressure. ARLA Propertymark have provided figures which suggest between January and April, the average void period is higher than it is for the rest of the year. Therefore, landlords should prepare themselves for void periods in these months.

In 2019, the average void period was three weeks, but for the period between January and April 2019, the average void period was four weeks. There are many reasons why void periods are more likely at this time.

The start of the year is a challenging time financially for many people

In the aftermath of the festive season, there is a greater chance of evictions as tenants cannot afford to pay rent. It is not uncommon for people to overstretch themselves financially at Christmas, and this may cause some people to suffer rent arrears.

Another issue which affects the market at this time of year is the lack of available funds prevents many tenants from moving home. Moving into a new rental property is expensive, as there is a lot of upfront costs to take care of. If tenants cannot afford to cover deposits and the cost of moving, they don’t move. Therefore, this reduces the chances of landlords filling void periods until people’s finances improve.

Landlords are also affected by annual contracts. With many tenants holding 12-month contracts, these issues become seasonal, affecting landlords on an annual basis. The reason void periods are so costly for many landlords is because of the significant costs these professionals have to manage, even if the property is empty.

Landlords have bills to pay regardless of whether a tenant is in place

A landlord with a buy to let mortgage to consider needs to pay this regardless of whether the property is filled or not. Some landlords have insurance in place, which comes at a premium price, but many do not. Therefore, a void period is extremely damaging for landlords, and it is vital landlords do what they can to minimise the likelihood of void periods.

Glenn Seddington, is the Managing Director of Tenant Shop, and he released a statement, saying; "Void periods are unfortunately an inevitability for landlords, but it's obviously important they are kept as short as possible. Having the necessary processes and support in place can help to minimise the impact of voids in the first few months of the year when the chances of them lasting for longer is increased. Feedback from our agents and their landlords concludes that the more proactive amongst them utilise this time to carry out productive tasks such as repairs and maintenance, which then in turn helps to reduce the chances of longer void periods occurring in the future.”

If you plan on letting property, we can arrange a valuation for you. At Household, we aim to connect you with likely tenants, and we can help you find the most suitable tenants. When it comes to being a successful landlord in Toddington and Dunstable, we are your local agents, so contact us today.