There’s never a good time for landlords to go through a void period, but with the right attitude, you can easily turn a negative into a positive. A week or so with no residents in situ provides you with a great opportunity to rethink your rental property, to give it a refresh, so you can put it back on the market better than ever.
Any time your rental is empty, you should undertake a little void property maintenance. There’s always something you can do, so join us as we discuss how to make the most of a void period.
What is Void Property Maintenance?
Void property maintenance is the work you carry out on your rental property while you’re in between residents. It’s the best way to take advantage of the time you have before someone new moves in.
Think of it as an opportunity to go around your property and see for yourself what might have been a factor in your last resident wanting to leave. Once you have a snagging list of items to work on, you can correct them so they’re less likely to be an issue for new potential residents.
Some common chores include:
Updating tired furnishings
Replacing broken item
Applying a new lick of paint
Fixing squeaky floorboards
When undertaking void property maintenance, it’s also a good opportunity for you to assess whether the rooms have been fit for purpose.
As an example, if your last residents were a family, were they able to sit together and relax in the evenings, or did the layout of your living room mean they were all far away in their own space?
Bringing everyone together is the main point of communal rooms. The living room, dining area and the kitchen should all be designed with this concept in mind.
Other spaces work much better as private sanctuaries such as:
A Home Office
Knowing how to create the perfect inclusive space and the ideal area where residents can chill by themselves is never easy. Speak to an interior designer if you're having trouble finding the right balance.
Why is Void Property Maintenance so Important?
Every resident who leaves a rental property does so for a reason. It could be for something out of your control such as:
They need more space for a growing family
They’re relocating for work
They’re moving in with a partner
But if they leave because your property didn’t meet their standards, you could face the same problem with your next set of residents. Discovering what didn’t work and fixing it as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you don’t see another void any time soon. And by completing your snagging list before anyone else moves in, you can have the property ready for them without causing any disruptions.
If you don’t undertake void property maintenance, your rental won’t stand out in the minds of prospective residents. Worse than that, it could stand out but for the wrong reasons.
Void periods are costly, so getting residents back in situ with a little elbow grease or help from external partners will bring the money rolling in again. More importantly, the right help goes a long way in keeping your residents happy, which is the key to making sure they don’t get the urge to leave.
Saving Money During a Void Period
The average void period will cost a landlord over £1000 per calendar month. This is through:
Loss of rental income
Utilities (water, electricity, etc.)
You need money to be coming in or the costs above will come out of your own pocket. There are ways to save money while you’re doing maintenance on your void property, so you can keep your outgoings to a minimum.
You become responsible for paying the utility bills when your residents leave, but you should only have to pay for what you use. The day your resident leaves, make sure to take a reading of the gas, water and electric meters and pass the information on to the property’s service providers.
While your property is empty, it’s also worth reviewing the costs and benefits of your service providers with new ones. Changing providers could mean lower bills, no call-out charges and increased warranty protection.
Turn off What You’re Not Using
Anything you leave on will cost money, and most items don’t need to be left running while you’re renovating. This can include:
Even plug sockets with LED fuse lights
Make sure to switch off your gas appliances as well.
You’ll want to disable the timer for the heating, but remember not to switch it off completely if your property is void during winter. Heating will stop the pipes from freezing, which will save you time, hassle and money on a potential repair job.
Is There a Way to Minimise Void Periods?
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when life gives you a void period, complete some void property maintenance.
But in an ideal world, you won’t see many void periods at all. To keep residents in situ, you have to cater to their needs. This means:
Asking for feedback yourself regularly
Listening to the feedback your residents are giving you
Keeping your property fresh and vibrant
Going fully furnished so they want for nothing
LOFT’s core customer base has been landlords for 18 years. We understand how to design and furnish a property that you and your residents will love. A property that has lasting appeal and doesn’t hit your pockets hard.
For more advice, download our free guide on how to avoid voids and land new residents.
Land More Tenants & Avoid the Voids Guide
After reading this guide, you’ll feel confident in winning new tenants and avoiding voids.