Tips for landlords who are in between tenants
Whenever a tenant moves out there will always be a period of time when your property is empty. Sometimes this can be useful, such as when you want to clean the property. Other times it can be a nuisance because it means that you are missing out on rent. Here are some tips on how to deal with an empty property when you are between tenants.
Take the opportunity to do some maintenance. This could save time and money in the long run if you fix things sooner rather than later. Replace any broken items and inspect all the walls and furniture. It is easier to do this when the property is empty and means a clean slate for when the next tenant moves in.
You should also make sure that the water and electricity supply are off when the house is empty. Unplug all appliances and switch off all the sockets. It is also a good idea to unplug all the white goods in the kitchen and leave the doors open, which allows them to air and freshen up.
Although it is not difficult to do these things yourself, often it is more convenient to let a property management company or block management agents, such as http://www.completepropertygroup.co.uk/property-block-and-estate-management/, handle empty properties for you to ensure that they remain in good order between tenants.
Take care not to leave the heating off totally over the winter period. The pipes should be allowed to warm up to prevent them from freezing over and bursting. It is cheaper to occasionally put the heating on in cold weather than to deal with repairs to burst pipes and water damage.
Also check that any bins are empty, both those inside and the wheelie bins outside. Tenants should empty their bins but you cannot guarantee that they will have done so and old rubbish can quickly go mouldy and smelly. Bins should be properly cleaned to prevent any odours or bacteria.
Ensure that you benefit from any council tax exemptions, if applicable. An empty, unfurnished property can be exempt from council tax for up to 6 months. Also remember to transfer the utility bills to your name once tenants leave and take readings so that you are only billed for the period when the property was empty.