Your previous tenants moved out and your new tenants are still living out their notice period with their old landlord. It’s rare that dates line up exactly, so it’s inevitable that your property will be vacant for brief periods of time. Mothballing your buy to let property is a real opportunity to get it in great shape for the next tenants and even improve its rental value.
So how do you maintain your property if it falls empty? Here are a few handy tips.
1. Take Meter Readings
Don’t be liable for your tenants’ bills – as soon as they move out take gas, electric and water readings and contact the utility providers. When new tenants move in take them again so you’re only liable for any usage that’s occurred whilst the property is vacant. Unplug all appliances and make sure the heating (in summer) and hot water are switched off to minimise unwanted bills. If it’s winter, leave the heating on low to minimise the risk of burst pipes.
2. Fix It Up
It’s unlikely your property will be in mint condition, and you may have been planning to redecorate. Take the opportunity to make sure everything is in good order – from painting that wall to changing the washer on that leaky tap. Maintaining property when you have the opportunity can save problems once new tenants have moved in.
3. Review Your Options
If your property looks like it’s going to be vacant for a while, now is a good time to review your options, particularly in terms of property management. If you have flats to rent in Gloucester, say, then try contacting an agent like T G R E S Gloucester who will provide a full range of property management services.
4. Sweat the Small Stuff
First impressions count. Change those dud lightbulbs. Make sure the bins are emptied and cleaned out. Mow the lawn and give the place a good spring clean. Review your rental agreements and your rights and responsibilities. Or make sure you have competent property management service who can deal with all this for you.
5 Don’t Be A Crime Magnet
Check all locks are in good working order and remove any valuables. If crime is an issue, set up timer switches for lights to give the appearance that the property is occupied.