How to avoid a void

As a professional landlord, the last thing you want is an empty property in Southend. Here are a few tips from our Office Manager, Martin Ransome, which could help you to avoid a void.

  1. Look into the main reasons why tenants give notice. This way you can try to overcome the issues that make people want to leave. It may be something simple like continued slow responses to repair requests which can easily be addressed; especially if you engage a Lettings Agency in Southend to manage your property maintenance for you.
  2. When marketing your property for rent in Southend, try to use photographs that show the interior at its best. When viewing details online, the majority of prospective tenants look at the first photo shown for around 10 seconds before deciding whether to read on or click through to the next property listing. You only have a short timeframe to impress!
  3. Understand what makes a property hard to let. By doing so you can tackle any issues at your own properties which may help increase your chances of letting quickly. Typical tenant turn-offs include lack of natural light, shortage of storage space, a shower but no bath and stained sanitary ware.
  4. Be realistic about rental values and if necessary, consider lowering the rent. It’s better to have 80% of something than 100% of nothing! If that’s not feasible, offer a discount on the first month’s rent to tempt tenants into signing on the dotted line. Speak to a professional Lettings Agent in Southend who will be able to give you advice on local rental values.
  5. Widen the list of tenants you will allow to live in your property. A professional letting agent will be able to help you mitigate the pitfalls of pets and people receiving housing benefit. You can then advertise and appeal to a broader audience. Certain Southend Lettings Agencies will offer to find these tenants for you.
  6. When prospective tenants are viewing your property, explain why the previous tenants moved out and how long they stayed – being unable to provide this may make you look evasive. Also, know the running costs of the property– heating, council tax, water, electricity. Most tenants will expect to know these figures before they commit. Having these figures to hand may speed up the rental process.
  7. And finally, try to ensure good tenants stay longer by simply giving good service: Follow up on complaints quickly, undertake repairs quickly and at a time that works for the tenant, be polite and professional.

We are happy to offer half an hour of face-to-face advice to local landlords in difficult situations free of charge. Please telephone and ask to speak to Martin, Marcus or Crystal.

Posted by Marcus James; Lettings Manager at Pace Plc, family-owned independent Estate Agents in Southend-on Sea.

Martin Ransom is Office Manager at Pace Plc, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent.

With nearly 25 years experience in the property industry, Martin is well placed in his role as Branch Manager for Pace.

After joining the business in 2010 Martin took it upon himself to foster excellent customer service among the team and this continues to position Pace as a leader in its field today.

Pace Sales


"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. Within a month all the flats were filled with suitable tenants. PACE delivered and exceeded our expectations.

Runwood Homes Director

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a professional member of staff who always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important to me. She deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if required. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution. 

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country.  We have used Pace for a number of years and have never been disappointed with the level of service we receive.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently. All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)