Posts with tag: void periods

Regions with lowest void periods revealed by landlord survey

Published On: August 2, 2021 at 8:11 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Having researched the typical void period lengths UK landlords are currently experiencing, Intus Lettings has found in some parts of the UK this issue is practically non-existent.

The lettings agency polled 500 landlords from across the country in a bid to understand the changing demands of the buy-to-let market and educate the landlords and tenants it works with.

According to the data, landlords in the east of England experienced only 10 weeks of void periods over 12 months, with a quarter revealing their properties are empty for less than a month over the course of a year.

Similarly, 65% of landlords in Northern Ireland stated that their rentals are empty for three months or less and 16% said they had never experienced a gap between tenancies.

Other regions that topped the list for complete year-round occupancy include Wales with 30%, the west midlands with 24%, and the south west with 20% of landlords having never experienced void periods at their properties.

Over half of London landlords stated that COVID-19 had impacted tenancy levels. The research also revealed that 65% own more than one rental property.

Hope McKendrick, head of lettings at Intus Lettings, comments: “Void periods can be a landlord’s worst nightmare, as no matter what they may hope to make on a future sale in terms of capital appreciation, a key part of property investment comes down to rental yields.

“When you consider that the average annual income per rental property in the UK is over £20,000, even a few weeks of unoccupancy would equal a significant loss – it’s fantastic to see landlords generating such positive returns.

“Speaking from personal experience, we’ve seen the lowest ever levels of void periods across our property portfolio this year. Landlords are taking steps to make properties more desirable, as well as resolving any issues quickly.

“When sourcing new properties, I’d advise landlords to explore areas of high tenant demand. If there’s a strong job market, good transport links and a thriving social scene, you’ll have a wider choice of tenants and stand a higher chance of reducing void periods and increasing yield.”

New prospective tenants and rental supply highest on record for June 2020

Published On: July 31, 2020 at 8:16 am


Categories: Lettings News

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According to ARLA Propertymark’s latest private rental sector (PRS) report, the number of new prospective tenants continued to rise in June.

This report, carried out by Opinium Research, involved an online survey of 210 ARLA Propertymark members that took place from 3rd to 20th July 2020. The results revealed an average of 79 new tenants registered per branch, compared to May’s average of 70.

Comparing year-on-year results since records began in 2015, this figure is the highest recorded for the month of June. The previous record was 71 in June 2019.

However, ARLA Propertymark does highlight that this is still down on pre-lockdown figures, with an average of 82 new tenants registered per branch in February 2020.

This report also shows that the number of rental properties on the market during June increased. Reaching another record high, there was an average of 200 properties managed per letting agent branch.

ARLA Propertymark comments that “this is down slightly from 208 in May, but still sets the market up for an active summer compared to the usual seasonal lull.”

Regionally, the highest number of properties being managed was in Yorkshire & Humberside, at an average of 264 per branch. Wales had the lowest average, at 104 per branch.

The number of rent price increases also grew in June. 29% of agents witnessed landlords increasing rents, compared to 14% in May. However, this remains the lowest number of rent price increases for the month since June 2016 (see Figure 1, below).

New prospective tenants
Figure 1: Average number of tenants experiencing rent hikes in June year-on-year

Average void period lengths decreased from five weeks in May to four weeks in June. Despite this decrease, this figure remains the longest average on record for void periods between tenancies in the month of June. 

Phil Keddie, President of ARLA Propertymark, comments: “Our latest figures show that the rental market is continuing to pick up following the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The record-breaking supply of rental stock and demand from tenants for this time of year paints an optimistic picture for the summer months, indicating that the market will be more active than the usual seasonal lull. 

“As the market continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s essential that everyone continues to keep up with their rent in order to sustain the market and help boost the economy during these uncertain times.”

£730m Lost Through Avoidable Void Periods in 2019

Published On: February 21, 2020 at 10:49 am


Categories: Landlord News

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In London alone, £730m was lost due to avoidable void periods, lasting 24 days on average last year. 

Void periods are one of the worst challenges faced by landlords as they can have serious financial consequences, but many landlords feel totally unable to avoid them. The onus falls on letting agents to do more to minimise the risk of their clients getting stuck in extended periods without tenants.

Prop-tech letting firm, Home Made says that many of these void periods in London were very much avoidable, and places the blame squarely at the feet of inefficient letting agencies. They point out that there is a serious lag time between tenants handing in their notice and traditional letting agents finding new tenants.

In a study recently conducted by the firm, they found that there is a three week gap on average between letting agents first beginning their efforts and actually finding a new tenant. On top of this, they have also found that it takes an average of SIX DAYS before a letting agent even advertises a property after the previous tenant served notice. 

Asaf Navot, founder and chief executive at Home Made, commented: “Empty rental properties are hurting everyone. Landlords are needlessly losing value on their investments and tenants are missing out on the home of their dreams.

“Our research shows that inefficient agency models are one of the driving factors keeping London homes unoccupied.

“Landlords are paying agencies for a service and if they are not delivering, they need to hold them to account.

“We’d urge landlords to ask their letting agent for transparency at every stage, from the date their property will be available online, through viewing volumes and feedback, all the way to move-in date.

“At Home Made we make this information readily available for landlords to track so they can ensure that every detail from appealing imagery to negotiating contracts is handled efficiently and as if the property were our own.”

Home Made also released the following figures from their study:

London boroughs with the shortest void periods in 2019

Hounslow15 days
Camden17 days
Islington18 days
Lambeth19 days
Richmond Upon Thames19 days

London boroughs with the longest void periods in 2019

Havering37 days
Bexley33 days
Barnet32 days
Brent32 days
Barking & Dagenham31 days

Average void periods and rent prices drop in the final month of 2019

Published On: January 9, 2020 at 9:26 am


Categories: Lettings News

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According to Goodlord’s latest Rental Index, both average rents and average void periods saw a drop in December 2019.

Rent prices

The index shows that most rents remained the same as they were in November, with some showing a dip. The largest decrease was recorded in the North East. Average rent prices fell by 3%, from £607 to £588.

However, Greater London did see an increase of 2%. The North West and Wales also experienced a 3% increase.

The average cost to rent a property in the UK during December was £902. This is compared to the 2019 annual average of £927 per month.

Void periods

During December the average number of void periods dropped from 24 to 19 days across England and Wales. This is below the year’s average of 20 days.

Tom Mundy, Chief Operating Officer at Goodlord, said: “Mid-November leading into December is traditionally quiet for the rental market, so these numbers are actually quite encouraging.

“Rent decreases were slight across most regions, alongside some modest increases, with other regions holding steady.

“Void periods were down in the majority of regions as tenants looked to finalise leases ahead of the Christmas break.

“We ended the year sitting slightly higher than 2019 averages on some key metrics – an encouraging note to round off what has been a seismic year for the industry.”

The Rental Index also revealed that the average age of those renting their homes in the UK has remained at 34 years for the third month in a row.

£23,615 has been recorded as the average income of tenants in December, increasing slightly from £22,726 in November.

Unsurprisingly, London remains to be the most expensive area in the UK to rent. Meanwhile, the North East, Wales, and the Midlands have been noted as the most affordable regions.

Void period lengths and average rent prices revealed in October Rental Index

Published On: November 11, 2019 at 10:36 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Goodlord’s Rental Index for October 2019 has been released, showing mixed results for void periods in the UK.

The report highlights that the UK average for void periods remained at 18 days during October. This showed no change to the previous month’s data.

The following regions have seen an increase in void period lengths since August:

  • North West

August: 14 days

September: 19 days

October: 19 days

  • North East

August: 7 days

September: 10 days

October: 25 days

  • South West

August: 5 days

September: 18 days

October: 18 days

  • South East

August: 10 days

September: 14 days

October: 25 days

In the West Midlands. void periods increased from 15 days to 34 days in August to September. In October it dropped to 20 days. The East Midlands has seen a similar movement, with August at 13 days, September at 20 days and October at 17 days.

October figures for Wales show an average 10 day void period, down from 23 days in September. The length was at 14 days in August.

London has seen little change, going from 14 days in August to 11 in September and then back up to 14 days in October.

The index also looks at average rent costs, showing a slight dip. The average sat at a 2019 high of £1,034 in September and fell to £925 in October.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, said: “After a fantastic summer for lettings followed by a more tempered start to the Autumn, the rental market is starting to stabilise in key regions across the UK.

“The numbers indicate a return to consistency across void periods and rental prices, although this is being felt at different rates depending on the region. 

“Overall, void periods are generally below or on par with annual averages, and average rents across most areas of the UK are returning to expected levels.”

How Letting Agents Can Help Landlords Reduce Void Costs

Published On: June 19, 2019 at 8:36 am


Categories: Lettings News

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Tenant Shop says letting agents can reduce void costs to landlords if they focus on having the right processes in place.

The leading utility management service says that agents can retain landlord clients by reducing void periods, which is particularly important right now in a time when savvy landlords are shopping around more than ever to find better value for money management fees.

Kent Reliance estimates in their latest study that the typical landlord loses £528 per year due to void periods. They also note that this figure is on the rise due to an increase in the average rent and an increase in the gap between tenancies.

Glenn Seddington at Tenant Shop goes on to say: “Landlords will be looking to minimise lengthy void periods at all costs and letting agents have an important role to play in saving their clients money, ensuring a smooth changeover between tenancies.

“With the tenant fees ban now in force, keeping void costs will be an even higher priority for landlords, especially those who are paying higher management fees as a result of the new legislation.”

How Can Letting Agents Help?

Managing changeovers more efficiently and proactively matching tenants to soon to be vacant properties are just two of the ways that agents can minimise void periods.

“By having the right software and processes in place, agents can help to prevent void periods becoming a serious and costly issue for their landlords,” Seddington continues.

“Tying up loose ends at the end of a tenancy is crucial in saving time and making sure everything is ready for a new tenancy to commence. This includes notifying local councils and utility companies about tenancy changeovers and dealing with stray bills.”

“If agents can automate these processes using the best PropTech solutions, they can save themselves time and keep their clients happy which is a win-win situation for all parties,” he says.

Retaining landlords is crucial to agents’ survival

In a world of banned fees, higher government regulation and tougher competition than ever before, agents must work harder to retain landlords by keeping them happy and demonstrating value for money.

“Agents need to focus on showing landlords everything that is included in their service and why they are more effective than local competitors,” says Seddington.

“If your service is slick and efficient this is only going to impress landlords, increase your chances of long-term retention and provide your staff with more time to focus on growing your business further.”

“Working out how you can reduce the impact of pain points landlords face on a regular basis, such as void periods, will only help in showing your clients why they need the services of a professional letting agency now more than ever,” he adds.

“Despite a challenging market, there are still plenty of opportunities for letting agents to be successful. Utilising the best PropTech services and products can be hugely beneficial in achieving long-term stability.”