In an ideal world, a new tenant would move into your property as soon as the previous one has left. However, there are times when a few days or even weeks go by without a tenant and the property stands empty. There are a few things you can do during this time.
Council tax exemption
It is the landlord’s responsibility to pay council tax once a tenant leaves. However, if a property is empty and unfurnished, you can claim council tax exemption for up to six months. All you need to do is notify your local council tax office.
Put utility bills in your name
Similarly, the landlord becomes responsible for utility bills for the property. When the tenant moves out, take readings of the electricity, gas and water meters and let the utility companies know the numbers. At the same time, get the accounts put back into your name. When new tenants move in, take the new meter readings to ensure you are only billed for what you have consumed.
It is also a good idea to make sure that all the electrical and gas appliances are switched off and unplugged. You can leave the doors of white goods such as fridges and freezers open so they do not smell. Make sure the heating and hot water timer is switched off to save money.
Help your tenant move out
Do the final check out with the tenant to make sure the property is clean and in the same state as when they moved in. This is a good time to bring up any disputes and to agree the final meter readings too. You are likely to have many contacts in your line of business that can offer assistance to tenants, which also makes you look like a caring landlord. For instance, you could recommend Bristol removal companies, such as www.imoveremovals.co.uk/, to help them move their belongings.
If it looks as though the property could be empty for a while, and is furnished, you could rent it through companies such as Airbnb to bring in an income rather than see it stand empty.
Time for a change
While the property is empty, it is an ideal time to redecorate or carry out any repairs. That way, it will look fresh for potential new tenants.