To Let or to keep empty for present time?

by Readers Question

10:45 AM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

To Let or to keep empty for present time?

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To Let or to keep empty for present time?

I have just purchased a house to let and I don’t have a mortgage on it.

I have an agency looking for a tenant for me. I’m thinking about the current situation and is it best to keep it empty and pay the council tax until this Coronavirus is sorted or rush having someone move in, get sick and be stuck with a load of problems?

I appreciate any help with this decision.

Colin


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Comments

Neil Patterson

10:48 AM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

Hi Colin,

How long can you afford to keep it empty?
We have no accurate idea yet how long this may last.

Richie

11:17 AM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

You could wait and take the free months period of CT which varies by councils and then I would let, if you can find suitable tenants, If possible I would ask for 6 months in advance, although few and far between but I have one tenant that likes pay this way so they are out there.

Dixie

11:38 AM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 23/03/2020 - 10:48
Neil

Good question, I don’t know, I would rather pay than have someone in and not paying,

Simon M

12:11 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

If there's a hospital or food warehouse fairly close it might be worth a direct approach. They're likely to have new staff coming in who may only need a place for the duration. They'll be more motivated to get back to work so should be less likely to give you a problem.

PJB

12:20 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

Hello Colin,
I have two properties becoming available to advertise and I have similar concerns. My thought processes are as follows:
- If you choose to delay putting a property to market then spend the time doing an 'ultra spruce' to make your property 'ultra' attractive bearing in mind that tradesmen may not be available.
- In the meantime, try advertising using an on-line letting agent such as OpenRent using a 'video tour' or equivalent to give potential renters a more accurate feel for the property so that those that do wish to view won't be wasting their or your time. You are not in a rush, so take your time over referencing, ask searching questions and satisfy yourself that the prospective tenants are honourable and reliable. The feedback you get might also help you improve the property further. Using an on-line letting agent allows you greater control of which tenants you wish to select.

I am erring toward finishing the properties to produce a good photographic appearance, then do a trial shot using an on-line letting agent while adding finishing touches. The mantra remains: get the right tenants!

Dixie

13:03 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

Thank you all for your comments

moneymanager

13:46 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

I'd let it PDQ as if the situation becomes protracted I would not want to assume that the requisitionning of empty properties would not be considered. You might want to consider the possibility of a corporate let as people get sick but corporations don't although they do sometimes die.

colette

14:56 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

well, you could always look for tenants who work for NHS or local authority and find out if they have worked there for 5 years or more. They get full wages for 6m if they go sick after 5 years service, so should be able to pay rent.

Dixie

15:39 PM, 23rd March 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by colette at 23/03/2020 - 14:56
Thanks Colette

Peter G

10:09 AM, 24th March 2020
About 6 months ago

The 3 month CT suspension is not yet in place at some councils. With many council employees working from home or self-isolated these schemes may take some time to get up and running.
Reading Council have postponed my payment for 1 month to allow the Council some time to set up whatever scheme they decide upon. The CT department were very helpful.

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