Void periods to serve as property improvement window, says ARLA
Buy-to-let landlords should use void periods to make improvements on their properties, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
ARLA's operations manager Ian Potter told rman.co.uk that while empty periods were "a fact of life in the rented sector", using them effectively to carry out repairs, maintenance and improvements could help make properties more appealing to tenants.
Touching up paintwork, replacing worn furniture and perhaps some deep cleaning could transform a let into a far more attractive proposition for prospective tenants. The time would also allow landlords to ensure all regulatory obligations were up to date, such as gas safety certificates.
Research carried out by ARLA has found that the average void period in the UK is three weeks, but suggests that making improvements during what Mr Potter terms a "useful window" could reduce that, according to independent.co.uk. This is the longest period since January 2011.
In addition, to making a property more desirable, the organisation has suggested four other ways in which to keep a property 'tenanted'. This advice includes 'fostering good tenant-landlord relations' through respecting privacy and giving at least 24 hours' notice for an inspection.
It also recommends setting realistic rents, based on research on what is appropriate for the area; perhaps by first gaining advice from industry experts.