Empty Property and Void Periods
Aside from losing potential income, keeping a property empty will incur expenses such as council tax, and could lead to problems such as burglary, pest infestations and squatters.
It is recommended that if your property is left empty for a period of time, that you provide a neighbour with contact details to allow them to make contact with you just in case there are any problems. They can then be reported to you directly to be acted upon as necessary.
You should visit the property regularly to ensure the following:
- The property is secure
- Gardens are maintained in a reasonable condition
- External appearance of the house is kept in good order
- The property is not in a condition so as to cause defects or a nuisance to neighbouring homes
Empty Homes Grants
Bromley Council want to assist owners of empty properties to bring them back into use and do contact all owners of empty properties once they have been unoccupied for 6 months or more, offering assistance with renovation, letting, selling advice along with an option of loans and small grants. They will help you to obtain estimates and assist with details of competent contractors.
In some circumstances, the council awards empty homes grants to the owners of empty properties to assist with the costs of repairs and improvements needed to bring a property into a condition fit for renting. These are subject to conditions and but they are keen to assist with leasing schemes which can offer owners guaranteed rental income and in some cases an introductory bonus payment. For more information about funding schemes, visit their website.
A void is when the property is empty and not generating any rent. As you might expect, most landlords will avoid void periods wherever possible.
For tips on how to "Void-proof" your property, check out this page at LegalforLandlords.