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Dan Barradale, who leads Shouler & Son’s residential lettings agency and property management services, explains how landlords can help themselves to avoid the voids.

 ‘Void periods’ refer to the times when a rental property is vacant. This is, most commonly, an interim period between the end of one tenancy lease and the beginning of another.

Void periods are times when landlords are left with no rental income from their vacant property.

A scheduled void period can be a managed process when a planned refurbishment, decoration or maintenance programme takes place and, thereby, is factored-in by the landlord.

However, there might be an unplanned void period which has arisen out of the early termination of the lease by tenants who may, or may not – in worse case scenarios - honour their contractual and financial obligations to the landlord.

Whichever scenario, void periods are the bane of a residential landlord’s business.

Financial transactions and logistics of the residential sales market are, arguably, more complex than the equivalent arrangements in the lettings market. Yet it is common for vendors to be moving out and the new buyers moving in within hours of each other.

So we would suggest that, excepting void periods for planned works in the rental property, frequent void periods should not be accepted as an unavoidable hazard of the lettings business.

Using the services of a professional property lettings and management agency can help to head off void periods or, at least, minimise the void timeframe for landlords.

Experienced property agents operating in the lettings management sector will always have a roster of professional, qualified and accredited tradespeople whom they can deploy and rely on for planned, or even at critical times, unplanned works.

Similarly, good lettings agents will have solid relationships with loyal and trusted tenants whom they can alert to any forthcoming vacant properties towards the end of the tenants’ current lease.

The best lettings agents will have a waiting list of tenants - particularly in premium rental hotspots - whose property requirements are already established and, thereby, are in a position to make their move in the market when the right lettings property looks set to become vacant.

So if you are a residential landlord - or thinking of becoming one - and are keen to minimise void periods, factor in the value of having a professional lettings and management service.

To find out more about Shouler & Son’s residential property management services, see