There’s a heightened risk of voids in the New Year period and agents and landlords should prepare: that’s the warning from a leading industry supplier.
Tenant Shop says ARLA research shows that the average void period was four weeks between January and April 2019, before dropping to three weeks for the remainder of the year to date.
The supplier - which has been working with lettings agencies for over 10 years - says one of the key reasons for the seasonal risk is that tenants have become over-stretched at Christmas, meaning existing voids stay empty for longer as renters hold back committing to new tenancies.
In addition the summer months tend to be more popular for moves due to better conditions for property viewings and moves, while there is a huge amount of activity in the student lettings market between August and October.
With most tenants on 12-month contracts, the chances of these trends becoming set annual patterns also increases claims Tenant Shop.
"Void periods are unfortunately an inevitability for landlords, but it's obviously important they are kept as short as possible" says managing director Glenn Seddington.
"Having the necessary processes and support in place can help to minimise the impact of voids in the first few months of the year when the chances of them lasting for longer is increased.
"Feedback from our agents and their landlords concludes that the more proactive amongst them utilise this time to carry out productive tasks such as repairs and maintenance, which then in turn helps to reduce the chances of longer void periods occurring in the future.”
Seddington warns that higher voids at this time of year coincide with greater demands for many landlords who typically have higher heating and lighting bills.
This makes it still more essential that agents and landlords have the relevant cover and void management solutions in place to cover all eventualities and keep costs down.