Void periods are a natural part of owning property but they don’t have to be a major part.
As part of my 2 year cashflow rule, I always include a full 2 months as void period. This is more than realistic when dealing with properties in London and the UK.
In my experience void periods happen as a result of two things: poor letting agents and, incorrect pricing in the market.
Normally if I have a desperate landlord and I know that the Lettings agent is good then as long as I find the right market rental I will have an offer within days.
This happen to me while writing this article. I have a house in Hamble-le-Rice, Southampton. It’s an ordinary 2 bedroom like most other 2 bedrooms in the area. I began marketing it at £625 which was £25 above what I had previously achieved. The first week I realised this was too high so I dropped it too £595 for the second week, it had interest but no takers. The end of the second week I dropped it to £575 and within 2 hours I had it on a 12 month let.
Now you may say that I should have waited for the extra £20 but when you think about it £20 x 12 months is £240 which is just under 2 weeks of void. So if I hadn’t taken the £575 and it sat for 2 weeks I would be behind.
Now I haven’t even mentioned the emotional side of void periods. It doesn’t matter how much experience you get in property, void periods hurt. So I avoid them any way I can.
My ‘Get it let’ Principle.
My general rule is pitch just below the realistic market rent and Get it let as I say to all my agents.
The trick to managing void periods is quite simply research. Research what is currently on the letting agent’s books and how much are they letting for. Then look at other agents in the area. Don’t always pick the one with none of your type of property, they may not specialise in that type or they may not be competent. If they have a lot of 2 beds and you have a 2 bed ask how long they have been on the books. This will give you an indication. Take some time and push for some answers.
Void periods do affect your emotional state so it is better to get someone in than to hold out for the highest rental possible.
Just one more point about long void periods if they occur. You will have to ensure you still manage the property as you don’t want to exposure yourself to criminal elements while the property is unlet. This is where a professional Lettings agent can ensure none of the above happens. Call the team on +44 (0)1522 503 717.
The team at Ezytrac