Avoiding Void Periods

Tenanting your property as quickly as humanly possible should be a priority when it comes to rental accommodation. A key factor in finding a tenant quickly has a lot to do with the previous topic on rental research that is required when investing in a buy to let property. If you have purchased a property within an area that has a massive demand for rental property then straight away you are giving yourself a fantastic chance of eliminating costly void periods.

In addition, if demand out strips supply then the rental price may increase, so not only are you greatly increasing your chance of eliminating costly void periods you can achieve a great rental price too. This sounds like very basic information but you would be surprised how many landlords/investors over look these very important factors. You’ll also find that rental property is more likely to fly of the shelf if it is situated close to certain places within the community, such as:

  • Tube stations
  • Train stations
  • Main Bus depot/stations
  • Hospitals
  • High street locations and shopping malls

So coupled with these places and a great location for renting due to your due diligence with regard to rental research you should have no problems in tenanting your property very quickly indeed and keeping the property free of void periods.

So you ask what should I do if I’ve bought a buy to let property in an area that doesn’t have very good rental prospects? Well firstly you should take notice of the information given above and in the previous topic on rental research so that you don’t place yourself in this situation again. Second you should note that the internet has become a major resource for tenants looking for property, with 85%-90% of people searching for property using the internet and web sites such as Rightmove.co.uk and Propertyfinder.com to find the property they desire. At Discount letting service direct you can showcase your properties on both of these web sites and send all registered tenants a mail shot of your property instantly. With the use of a vast internet resource it’s becoming easier to tenant properties because of the massive exposure provided by the internet.

Before you start renting your property you will initially need to decide if you would like to go down the DIY route of tenanting your property or the conventional agent route. Here are some questions to ask yourself before making this decision.

  • Can you afford a full management service from a letting agent?
  • Can you afford a finders fee payment from a letting agent?
  • Should you concern yourself with monitoring rental payments?
  • How far away is the property?
  • Are you to busy to deal with tenants enquiries and concerns?

Once you have made you decision you can then move on to finding a tenant.

If you can afford the costly full management fee which normally comes in at around 10%-15% of your rental then you are taking a lot of the work out of renting property, but beware you are also missing out on a lot of the valuable returns too. With full management the agent should take care of everything to do with the tenancy from start to finish then manage the whole letting process including looking after the deposit, transferring funds to your bank account plus invoices every month and all maintenance issues (not including maintenance costs). This all sounds ok, but even though you’ve opted for the costly full management service this doesn’t mean that your property will be tenanted any quicker than if you were to go the DIY route.

When using a conventional letting agent you do not sign a sole agency agreement or any other contract to tie you to that agent whilst they are showcasing your property, so it’s a good idea to get four or five keys made for your property so that you can instruct four or five agents at the same time, this will definitely increase your chance of finding a tenant quickly and will not cost you a penny more than instructing just the one agent. The pressure is on the agent to find a tenant before the other agents do. Why not place a rental advert on the internet yourself with the help of Discount letting service direct to maximise exposure. This way you may avoid the costly conventional agents fees altogether.

With regard to the property itself it is in the landlords? interest to offer for rental a nice clean property that has neutral décor throughout. Many agents will tell you that a furniture pack is a must, but what happens if the agent finds you a tenant who has their own furniture, are you going to loose the tenant? Or is the agent going to pay you for the furniture pack that you’ve just bought? No. It is a good idea to decorate a property with a few items of borrowed or rented furniture and maybe some flowers but don’t over do it as the tenant doesn’t want to see what your taste in furniture is like, they want a rental property that looks clean and tidy so that they can move into and make their own. At least this way you haven’t spent a small fortune on furnishings and there’s less to worry about.

If you are still having trouble tenanting your property there are a couple of other topics you can take a look at:

  • Consider lowering the price of your rental. Maybe you have over priced your property, so check with your agents and take a look at similar properties in the surrounding area.
  • Consider offering the tenant an additional service to the property at no extra charge, i.e. Broadband, TV licence, Evening and weekend calls free of charge. All of these services are very cheap in the market today so for the sake of loosing Ł30/Ł40 per quarter this could be a major plus for the tenant and place your property in a much more desirable position in the rental market.
  • Offer a lower deposit amount to what other landlords are charging for their properties in the surrounding area. This can sway a tenant who is having trouble coming up with a full deposit of six weeks rent and a full months rental in one large payment.

There are many factors offered here that could determine whether you tenant your property quickly or not, but all of these factors can be put into place without using a conventional agent. You can showcase your rental property to millions of waiting tenants all over the internet, which is where 85%-90% of people searching for property choose to look first. Using a service like Discount letting service direct you can place your rental property in front of millions of waiting tenants by an email mail shot and exposure on web sites such as Rightmove.co.uk, Propertyfinder.com, MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Channel4, and many more. With the help of the Discount letting service direct you will achieve all the internet exposure you will need for only £59 for a 3 month package, that’s just £0.69p per day.

Having received massive internet exposure for a very small fee you can continue down the DIY route where you can drastically increase you rental returns and profits made. If this process were to be used throughout your portfolio the increase in profit may mean the difference between an under performing portfolio and a successful portfolio which puts you on the road to financial freedom.

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