Void periods—that dreaded time between tenancies — are an inevitable part of letting a property.
It can be a stressful time for landlords, who often prefer handing over the management of their property to their letting agent.
Yet, many letting agents may be missing the opportunity to earn extra revenue for managing stock while it is unoccupied—keeping landlords happy, and providing a more robust offering.
What is a Void Utility Management Service?
A void utility management service is specifically designed to effectively manage a property between tenancies.
It keeps costs down for landlords, and eases the administrative side of handling outgoing tenancies, for example, utility switching and general management of change of tenancy notifications.
Here’s three reasons you should use void utility management services to make your life as an agent easier and cheaper, whilst offering a valuable service to your landlords.
1 — Save your landlords money
A good void utility management service will save your landlords money by reducing the cost of utilities during a void period.
Standing charges become the landlord’s responsibility once a tenancy ends, which can become expensive if the property stands empty for a long period of time, for example whilst renovations are carried out..
Standing charges for unoccupied rental properties include:
● Staying connected to the grid
● Carrying out meter readings
● Maintenance on pipework, wiring etc.
How will a void management service save your landlords money in this situation?
Some suppliers offer introductory rates that forfeit any standing charges at the outset of a new deal, which is perfect if your landlord expects a short turnaround between tenancies; it’s free gas and electricity while the house remains on the market.
Standing charges can run up to 60p per day for electricity, and 80p for gas. That means a landlord could save from £40-£126 per property for a void period from 30-90 days. Not bad pocket money just for letting their letting agent change utilities suppliers on their behalf!
This is especially useful considering the ongoing energy crisis. The rising cost of gas across the UK means standing charges for gas could go up significantly moving into 2022—so any respite from those standing charges could be well worth it (particularly during the winter months when the heating is used more often).
As the energy crisis progresses, more suppliers are going bust. Switching your landlords’ properties to a bigger energy supplier or using a provider with a panel of energy suppliers that cater to void periods could be a smart move to minimise the risk of disruption.
2 — Attract new Landlords
Landlords want to know that you’ve thought of everything and they are in safe hands with your agency.
They also want to avoid energy disputes, annoying bills and other stresses involved in handling their rental property (especially when it isn’t generating rental income for them).
Including a Void service as part of your standard management proposition shows landlords that you are good at managing your rental stock and have thought of everything that might cause them stress and hassle.s perfect for attracting new landlords and reminding them why they should hand overthe stress of dealing with the day-to-day management of their property to you.
If you want to attract more landlords to your agency, a robust set of property management services is a great way of showing off your credentials as a professional lettings agent.
3 — Improve your bottom line
Tenancy handovers also include “end of tenancy” notifications, including contacting the local council, water and energy suppliers.
Taking control of a utilities switch, has two key benefits:
● You choose the supplier, not the tenant, so you have greater control over your switch conversions and the commission you earn on each property you manage.
● You ensure all change of occupier notifications and meter readings are submitted promptly, minimising the risk of billing issues.
A void utility management service also means your agency staff won’t need to spend their days hanging on the phone to utility providers—freeing up their time for marketing, customer support and other activities that grow your business for the future.
Landlords appreciate a letting agent who can offer a holistic service that covers void periods—especially if it saves them money when they’re not earning rental income.
Void Management Services that specifically target the problems posed by empty rental properties, will show landlords that you can save them time and money while also earning your own extra income.
Interested in finding out more about Void Management Services? Read more here.