Mind The Gap when Letting your Portfolio

‘Mind the Gap’ when letting your portfolio

Our Letting Associate, Sam Benson provides her top tips on how to reduce void periods and maximise profitability as the average'Gap' is now three weeks. 

As a well-known expression when venturing through London on the underground, ‘mind the gap’ is vital for the lettings industry too. According to an ARLA PRS Report, the average void period between tenancies is now three weeks, jeopardising the long-term financial goals of landlords across the UK.

Void periods occur when a property is empty in between tenancies. There are many reasons why this could happen, from not using the best letting agent for your type of property to the rental price being too high. Whatever the motive, void periods are bad news for landlords.


Advertise right away.

The moment your tenant(s) gives notice to leave, you need to be advertising the property for new tenants as soon as possible. Given most tenancy agreements require one month’s notice to leave a property, you don’t have very long to replace them before you are in a void period.

Do your research when choosing a letting agent.

It’s important not tofocus on who is offering you the lowest fee when choosing an agent. Instead, look at who has the best experience in letting your type of property and whether they have any industry credentials such as ARLA or RICS, as these will indicate a firm has been recognised for their high level of professionalism, service and knowledge of the industry. Ask around for recommendations, make sure an agent can demonstrate they are excellent at providing good quality tenants and are able to organise all the paperwork and relevant checks

quickly and efficiently. You’ll also need professional photographs and a variety of marketing platforms where the property can be promoted, to ensure sophisticated presentation to the widest possible audience.



Cocking - £3,950/month


Set a realistic rental price.

If the price is too high, tenants won’t be interested, increasing your risk of void periods substantially. Be wary of firms who promise they can get you a higher rent in order to win your business and instead offer a competitive rental rate by researching what else is available locally and choosing a letting agent who is honest about what is realistically possible. You will be financially better off setting the price correctly from the outset.

Choose good quality tenants.

As landlords, you want to attract good, reliable, long-term tenants who will look after your property and pay their rent on time. A good letting agent will help you find them by organising appropriate referencing checks.




West Harting - £1,850/month


Make sure your property is rental-ready.

Rental properties need to be in excellent condition if you are to command a premium price and let quickly. Things to think about include cleanliness, décor, any issues that need fixing, security, a good central heating system and modern fixtures and fittings, if there are areas that require attention before the property is let, ensure that you have made arrangements for these to be dealt with as soon as possible. You can either finance a professional clean in-between tenancies or have your letting agent insert a clause into the contract that states this is the responsibility of the tenant when vacating the property.


Offer your property ‘unfurnished.’

Unless you’re letting student accommodation or somebody fresh out of university, most tenants will already have their own furniture. They will therefore be looking for unfurnished properties only and dismiss those that don’t offer that option.


East Grinstead - £1,850/month

 Allow pets.

There is very strong demand for pet-friendly homes in the South East, especially in the popular rural locations. We therefore encourage our landlords to consider allowing pets as otherwise they risk losing out on a big chunk of the lettings market. Responsible tenants are happy to pay additional deposit to cover any potential damage and your agent can add a clause into the Tenancy Agreement stipulating that carpets are to be professionally cleaned and sprayed with insecticide at the end of the tenancy.


Encourage long-term tenants.

You can avoid gaps altogether by keeping your tenants at your property as long as possible. Build a good relationship with them, respond to any problems quickly and efficiently, keep on top of property maintenance and if increasing the rent, suggest a fair rise. Often you’ll find tenants want the security that they won’t suddenly be given notice by their landlord after their initial twelve month rental period is over. Offering a longer fixed term tenancy as opposed to an on-going rolling contract can be appealing, whilst also guaranteeing you another year of rental income.


Sam Benson

Letting Associate




For more information about how RH & RW Clutton can help let your property portfolio in the south east,

contact Petworth on 01798 344554 or East Grinstead on 01342 410122


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