Void periods are something all landlords are desperate to minimise. After all, if you’re property is empty it will be costing you more than it is bringing in.
To make sure void periods are kept to a minimum it’s vital that you occupy your rental properties with good, reliable tenants.
If they stay for the long-term, all the better. Long-term tenants are more likely to look after your property, pay their rent on time and cause you very little bother.
Given the importance of the tenant-landlord relationship, you should do all you can to ensure your tenants are happy and contented.
Below, using our experience as a leading estate agent working in the Stoke Newington and Hackney property market, we set out the best ways to keep your tenants on side.
Start on the right foot
If you are able to establish a good working relationship with your tenants from the start, it will help to swerve any concerns, problems or confusion at a later date.
To minimise the chances of any breakdowns in communication or misunderstandings, a well-laid out rental agreement should be given to tenants before they move in.
This will outline monthly rent, any additional bills and the rules and regulations you expect your tenants to abide by.
For example, are they allowed pets in the property? Are they allowed to smoke? Are they allowed to redecorate or hang pictures up?
Making these things clear from an early juncture will reduce the chances of any disputes further down the line.
Respect their privacy
Tenants will want to think of their rental property as their home. As such, they won’t appreciate surprise or unannounced visits. This is only likely to make them suspicious. As trust is everything in the landlord-tenant relationship, that’s not an advisable move.
So, if you do need to visit the property for any reason, give them plenty of notice, out of common courtesy as much as anything.
If it’s an emergency issue then the situation changes somewhat, but in general it’s best practice to afford your tenants a good level of privacy.
Keep on top of maintenance
It stands to reason that an attractive, well-looked after home will encourage tenants to stay for longer.
Repairs should be carried out in a prompt and efficient manner, issues should be deal t with as quickly as feasible, and preventative maintenance should be carried out on things like damp and clogged gutters to ensure these problems don’t become much bigger issues.
Your tenants will want to be house proud; it’s up to you to facilitate this.
Deal with major issues quickly
Certain scenarios will need attention straight away, for example a faulty boiler or broken down fridge. But if you can address most issues in a fairly short time-frame then it will help your tenants to feel like they are valued.
The longer you leave an issue, the more frustrated those living in your property will become. This doesn’t mean you should be expected to deal with minor issues immediately, but most complaints should be resolved as quickly as you can arrange.
Be reasonable with rents
Yes, it may be tempting to raise rents during a tenancy, but if you have tenants who have been in place for a while it might be wise to keep things ticking over at the same price.
Not only will this help you to swerve those dreaded void periods, it could also save you considerable sums in turnover costs.
Remember, good, long-term tenants are not always easy to find. So it’s a good idea, once you have them, to do all you can to keep them.
Here at Location Location we manage properties in Stoke Newington and Hackney, two lively areas that are becoming increasingly popular among renters (of all ages).