I can’t find a tenant. What do I do?

Mar 15, 2018

Welcome back! This will be the last of our landlord-focused blogs, so we hope that you’ve found this series useful. Over the last few weeks we’ve covered a range of topics including selecting a great lettings agency; sourcing quality tenants; reducing the risk of damage to your property; spending your money wisely; selling property without losing control of your investment; and even the ins and outs of Section 24.

However, there is still one great fear for a landlord: not being able to find a tenant. Even if you do everything possible to avoid a property vacancy, there can often be other factors at work in your local area or the wider economy.

In our last blog, we wanted to explore some of the other options – and yes, there are several!

1. Holiday rentals.

With ‘staycations’ back in vogue, and likely to become even more popular if flights to Europe increase in price, a property in a seaside, countryside or even citybreak location could generate as much revenue in a week as a month with single-occupancy tenants. PropertyTribes co-founder Victoria Warwick outlines her experience here, but be warned that any holiday rental can be seasonal and revenue from busy months will need to tide you over quieter periods.

2. Short-term rentals.

We’ve all heard of AirBnb (with $2.8bn in revenue, despite not owning a single property, it’s arguably the world’s most successful landlord!). What many people don’t realize is that you don’t need to own a trendy flat in Paris to attract guests. With prices comparing favourably to local hotels, many people are now using AirBnb for business travel; for family weekends; or for attending a wedding – and these things can happen anywhere! Being a great host is time-consuming … but why not look at other properties in your area and see if it’s worth your while?

3. Converting to an HMO.

If your property is in an area popular with students, migrants or entry-level young professionals, an HMO could also be an attractive proposition. Renting to tenants who are not part of one household can often secure higher rent and occupancy levels. However, make sure that you do your research; as this blog from CPC Finance outlines, you may need to apply for a licence or be subject to certain restrictions.

4. Selling and reinvesting elsewhere.

A final option is simply to cut your losses and sell up. The traditional open market has a bad reputation for buy-to-let investments, with some properties remaining ‘for sale’ and unprofitable for months at a time. At Open Door, we believe that a modern approach to auction offers a better way to sell your investment properties (we explain why here). But whatever your decision, if you’re keen to reinvest the proceeds of sale, remember to choose your property and area wisely.

If you’re considering these options or would like more information on any of the topics that we’ve covered over the past few weeks, we’re always happy to talk. Our local office teams are available most days from 0930 to 1730, and you can contact us via Webchat at any time of the day.

In our next blog, we’ll return to talking about ways to improve (and sell) any home. We hope you’ll stick around!