When a property is empty, as a landlord, you become directly responsible to continue paying the bills, including Council Tax and rates. Therefore, it is obviously important to keep the amount of time your property sits empty, known as voids, to an absolute minimum.
My rental property is empty, how do I fill it?
Whether you have a large property portfolio or just one investment property, no landlord wants their rental property empty. However, there will inevitably be times when tenants move on to pastures new, so what is required of the landlord during what is known as the ‘void period’?
Read our property management top tips on filling your empty property.
Inform the utilities
When the tenant vacated, the closing meter readings need to be sent to the utility companies. During the time the property is empty, the landlord is responsible for the utilities at the property and the landlord details should be registered with the relevant companies including water and council tax. A letting agency may offer this as part of a full management service so it is worth enquiring about this as it could save you precious time.
Time is of the essence so you should contact your letting agency as soon as you receive notice from your tenant, so they can get the property listed on the market quickly. Even if you are planning on making improvements to the property you should not be worried about advertising as the negotiator in the letting agency will advise any prospective tenant of your intentions when they view.
A well-presented property bodes well on the rental market and voids period provides an excellent opportunity to give the property a facelift and attend to any odd jobs that need attention before a new tenant moves in. if you do not live locally to the rental property but would like some work undertaken, most letting agencies have connections with reputable contractors in the local area and can instruct the work as part of their lettings package (fees may apply).
Boiler on eco
Depending on the time of year it is important not to let the property become too cold so setting the boiler to eco mode (where possible) will keep the central heating ticking over and possibly help prevent damp or mould. A boiler left idle is more likely to experience problems when the tenant moves in and fires it up.
Empty properties can acquire a certain mustiness, even if they are well cleaned. To avoid the property becoming stuffy ensure that you pop in and open the windows for a short period of time and let some fresh air in. Don’t forget to close and lock them when you leave!
Put the bins out
It is a job that is often overlooked when a tenant leaves a property due to fortnightly collection cycles. If the external bin and recycling are kept out of sight they won’t get collected at the curbside collection. Make sure you pop them in the usual collection place, so any rubbish gets removed.
Keyring Lettings in Shepton Mallet are property professionals who are able to offer landlords help and advice on all things property. We have tenants registered and waiting for an empty property to come up so give us a call for an informal chat about how we can get your property tenanted as soon as possible. To find out more about how we can help you manage your property call 01749 681356