Void periods can be a serious pain. While they are undoubtedly part of running a buy-to-let business, it would seem that many private landlords are going out of their way to minimise the risk of being caught up in an extended period without a tenant, and avoid the associated costs as well.
According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), many landlords are looking to go the extra mile to incorporate an attractive package of benefits into their rental offer, especially when it comes to attracting foreign workers and international students in light of Brexit.
As Brexit day approaches, some landlords have been reporting a falling demand from tenants, and many are pointing the finger at the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the continuing uncertainty surrounding residency rules for EU nationals and funding for international students.
Foreign workers and international students have traditionally generated among the highest rental yields for landlords – so any decline in their numbers is likely to hit landlords’ rental business.
In an effort to attract foreign workers and international students, the NLA reports that some landlords are now going above and beyond what might normally be expected in order to appeal to wealthier tenants, such as providing personal transport to and from the airport by prior arrangement rather than taxis, managing or paying utility bills on their tenant’s behalf, while pledging to redecorate the property every two years.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, said: “In a buyer’s market, suppliers have no choice but to find ways to make their offering more attractive.
“Whether it’s offering super-fibre optic broadband, delivering gift baskets at Christmas, or other religious holidays, or offering to manage all bills associated with the property as part of the tenancy agreement, landlords have plenty of options.
“Ultimately, landlords will be most successful when they have an open dialogue with their tenants and keep in regular contact to ensure they know what they need. A happy tenant is far more likely to ask for a longer tenancy, which is what every landlord hopes for.”