All landlords experience void periods when renting their property, and that is why it is important to adopt a strategy to manage the risk of a rental property being left unoccupied, especially between January and April, when the rental market is traditionally quiet, according to the Tenant Shop.
Figures from ARLA Propertymark show that the average void period was four weeks between January and April 2019, before dropping to three weeks for the remainder of the year to date.
Excessive or lengthy void periods can significantly impact the viability of your property investment, and that is why it is essential that you actively manage your property to limit void periods at all costs.
Glenn Seddington, managing director of Tenant Shop, an inchora company, said: "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 [letting] 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.”
As soon as a property is empty and you have no rental income your investment is costing you, especially if you have buy-to-let mortgage payments and property running costs while receiving no rent from tenants.
During the first few months of the year, running costs are also usually higher due to the increased need for central heating and lighting.
Moreover, empty properties are more susceptible to theft and unreported property damage so it is crucial to get them occupied as quickly as possible.
"The potential cost of void periods for landlords is clear and this means agents play an important role in helping to minimise their impact," Seddington added.
Seddington says, however, that in the current climate it is more important than ever for landlords and agents to have the relevant cover and void management solutions in place to cover all eventualities and keep costs down.
Tenant Shop is among a host of firms to offer a suite of products and services to landlords and tenants, including homeowners insurance and energy solutions that can help in void periods.
Their energy void solution offers a streamlined process for managing energy both during void periods and between tenancies helping landlords and tenants.