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20 ways to minimise tenant turnover costs

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Tenant turnover periods are an inevitable downside of being a landlord. Every time the property is without a tenant, you’ll be faced with all the costs of getting it ready to be re-let – and the cleaning costs, administration costs, decorating and repair bills add up quickly.

The worst thing about tenant turnover is that you could be faced with the dreaded void period, increasing your costs every day the property is empty. This is particularly hard if yours is a buy-to-let property with a mortgage.

20 ways to minimise tenant turnover costs

20 ways to minimise tenant turnover costs


If you’re renting out a property, some turnover is inevitable. Many people choose to rent a home because they aren’t able to commit to buying in an area. They will, inevitably, want to move if they change jobs or decide to cohabit with a partner or have children.

However, people also give notice on a rented place for reasons, which you can control – because they’ve found somewhere that’s more modern, in better condition, cheaper or even has a more accommodating landlord!

On the other hand, you, yourself may discover that your tenant is less than ideal, and that you need to use legal Section 21 powers to evict them after an initial period for failing to pay their rent or keep the home in good condition.

Prevent these scenarios with our 20 top tips for avoiding tenant turnover and reducing costs when it happens:

1. Carry out proper screening before the tenant moves in. Screen to make sure they have the means to pay the rent and can provide references from previous landlords.

2. With their wealth of experience, using the services of a good letting agent to carry out tenant screening is often a good idea.

3. You can reduce costs by not replacing too many items between tenancies. Choose furniture and appliances to last, reading reviews and shopping around for the best deal.

4. Minimise the amount of redecoration needed by choosing tiles rather than paintwork in bathrooms and kitchens and putting down hard-wearing quality laminate or wood floors.

5. Save time and money with clauses in the lease agreement instructing tenants to bear some of the load, where reasonable – leaving the rental property clean, removing their belongings etc.

6. Be meticulous about inventories, recording the condition of the property and fixtures and fittings before you let the place. This can speed things up later and ensure you are reimbursed, where reasonable, from the tenant’s security deposit.

7. Avoid being hit with surprise bills between tenancies by working out the likely cost of cleaning services, decorating and getting essential jobs done from the start. Keep the money in reserve in case you need it.

8. If you’d really struggle financially with a void period, consider insuring yourself against the risk. Shop around for a good landlord insurance package which covers you for loss of income.

9. Go for long rather than short-term lets – don’t hedge your bets with a short lease, hoping you can put the rent up between tenancies.

10. Keeping on top of repairs and maintenance has multiple benefits, which help to reduce tenant turnover. Your tenants will wish to stay longer and you’ll attract new ones more easily.

11. Make sure the place is in good decorative order with an up-to-date bathroom and kitchen, for the same reasons.

12. Looking after the place will also help avoid the complex and lengthy repair costs, which can put the property out of action between tenancies.

13. If you have good tenants, make sure you hang onto them by responding to their concerns promptly and communicating effectively.

14. Think carefully before putting up rents. Remember, you can only do this if the market will allow it and any gain you make in increased rent, could be offset if you’re without income during a void period.

15. In general, landlords don’t favour pets due to concerns about damage, noise and smells. Accepting a tenant with a well-behaved pet can be a way of keeping them in the property for longer.

16. If your tenants do give notice, you’ll need to be on standby to act quickly. It’s important to be ready to start your repairs the day your tenants hand back their keys.

17. Conduct an inspection of the rental property before the tenancy ends – naturally, giving your tenants the correct notice. Work out exactly what needs doing and buy in your supplies.

18. It’s a good idea to have the numbers of reliable tradespeople in your phone, so you can organise any necessary redecoration as soon as is humanly possible.

19. Communicating well with your tenants and keeping on good, professional terms may make them more open to helping you re-let the place, by allowing access for viewings, for example

20. Have all your paperwork and certificates at the ready to start marketing the rental property as soon as you can.

Could we help?

If you are new to renting out property, Assetgrove estate agency may be able to help you avoid the expense of tenant turnover. Our property management services can take the burden from your shoulders and our rent guarantee scheme provides you with a fixed, guaranteed rental income for up to five years. Contact us to find out more.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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