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Rental arrears and void periods fall

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Void periods in the private rental sector have fallen to their lowest average level in over a year.

According to research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), a third of buy-to-let landlords experienced void periods during the last three months of 2012, down 13% on the same period last year.

It added said that there were strong regional variations across the country with just 20% of landlords in London experiencing such voids compared to 54% in the North East.

Your Mortgage reported today on the fact landlords are paying for rent guarantee insurance that is unlikely to pay out because of loopholes in terms and conditions.

The NLA said that the average void period was falling rapidly over the past year. The average duration was 60 days during the last 3 months, down from 69 days during 2012.

Arrears levels have also fallen to their lowest level in three years, although 41% of landlords have experienced arrears in the past 12 months, the report added.

David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: “It is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids.

“At a time when demand far outstrips supply, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.

“The private-rented sector affords tenants flexibility, so as tenants’ circumstances change, there are occasions when a property might be empty.

“Our results also show that there is no one property market, with voids representing more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher.

“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time.”

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