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What to Do With a Void

  • 2 years ago
Businessman thinking at office

If there’s one word that can send chills up the spine of a landlord, it’s ‘void’. A void means an empty property that’s more vulnerable to break ins and damp, as well as a worrying loss of rental income compounded by still having to pay any mortgage and insurance due.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as having a (hopefully short) hiatus between tenants can give landlords the opportunity to improve their rental property and make the best of a bad situation.

It’s all about the void property maintenance

Usually, there’s very little time between tenancies, so you might not get the chance to do much more than an end-of-tenancy clean and some essential repairs. A longer period in between tenancies means you can do those repairs and some improvements.

You can spend a bit of time in the property looking for the not-serious-but-mildly-annoying issues and then make some serious headway into sorting them out.

These issues can include things like tatty fixtures and furnishings, rattly door handles or uneven floorboards and tired-looking skirting boards. These things aren’t dealbreakers for most prospective tenants, but if you have the time to make your property as good as possible, then you should.

Make the place more functional

A void period also give you the chance to reassess how your property works and “flows”. If you usually rent to families, for example, think about how they might need a focal room such as the kitchen or living room, as well as a space to work from home or study. 

Is there an extra space in the property, such as a large landing area, that could double up as a study or chill out zone? Is there a wide windowsill that you could turn into a seat with some custom-made cushions? 

Do your tenants prefer showers rather than baths? Removing the bathtub and replacing it with a walk-in rainfall shower could free up more space in the bathroom for storage or lounging.

Learn from your void

As sinister as this advice sounds, it’s actually very benign! Your tenants left your property for a reason and this reason could be very instructive. Of course, the reason could be a new job, a new baby or because they were moving in with a partner, but it could also be something you can work on.

If it turns out that your tenants left for pastures new because they just felt cramped, or because the decor was a bit depressing, then you should set things right as soon as possible.

Tenants appreciate extra touches

That comfortable window seat or pop-up workspace could tip the balance for the right people and land you some brilliant long-term tenants. Making improvements that go the extra mile shows that you’re in touch with what tenants need and also shows that you’re kind and want them to be comfortable enough to stay for the duration.

 

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