Buy-to-let properties empty for two months every year
Landlords have seen properties go empty for an average of 56 days, according to new research.
One in three landlords has experienced at least one ‘void’ period where they had no tenants in a buy-to-let property in the last three months, according to new research from Direct Line for Business1. Of those landlords experiencing a ’void’ period, the average time without rent was 56 days, with some reporting properties empty for as long as 64 days.
The landlords polled gave many reasons for the gaps in rent received, with the most common reason being the natural changeover between tenancies. The other most common reason for ‘voids’ was the challenge of finding good tenants, suggesting that even though the buy-to-let market is improving, landlords may still be worried about the economic situations of potential tenants.
Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, said:
“Gaps in rental income can cause a serious hit to a landlord’s business, especially if they continue for long periods. It’s worth taking the time to find the right tenants, rather than rushing to fill a property with someone who might later turn out to be unsuitable, and a sensible landlord will also take precautions to avoid other issues which can get in the way of steady rental income, such as keeping the property well-maintained.”
Another reason given by landlords for shortfalls in expected rental income was the interruption caused by refurbishment or repair work done on the property, with more than one in eight landlords (13 per cent) saying that this was a cause of a ’void’ period they experienced in the last three months. This work may be regular maintenance or the result of an insurance claim, but either way the loss of rent during these works could be an unexpected cost in a landlord’s rental budget adding to what may already be a stressful situation.
“Buying a good insurance policy specifically tailored to the needs of landlords, such as those sold by Direct Line, is the best way for a landlord to protect themselves and their income. Direct Line Landlords Insurance provides cover for putting right any damage and loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable as the result of a claim, and could be the difference between a successful buy-to-let investment and one which ends up costing more than it brings in.”
Notes to editors
1 Research compiled by BDRC Continental through the Landlords Panel on behalf of Direct Line for Business; 662 members of the National Landlords Association were polled between 16 June – 10 July 2011.
Direct Line for Business
Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or online.
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Direct Line for Business and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk