The empty house is a situation that a landlord often faces. One tenant has moved out and for whatever reason, another one isn’t moving in yet or has yet to be found. So what can landlords do when they are between tenants to make money from an empty house?
Why Empty is a Problem
Empty houses may not, on the surface, seem such a big drama, especially if it is only empty for a matter of a few weeks. But remember that even an empty house still needs the mortgage paying and the council tax is still required, whether anyone lives in it or not. Then there are the utilities – especially in winter, the heating will need to be kept on to a minimum to avoid pipes freezing up so these bills will need to be paid by the landlord.
Insurance is another reason that empty houses can be a pain. Most companies will give you 30 days between tenants where the house can be left on a normal policy but after that, you will have to cancel your insurance and take a more expensive, more restricted unoccupied property insurance.
So what can you do when the house is empty to continue using it and making money? Depending on the type of house and the location, you may be able to rent it to a TV or film crew to use in their production. This is a growing industry around the world and doesn’t need a massive country manor to have a chance. Many films and shows use ordinary homes as sets and crews find it cheaper to rent a real property than construct a set of one.
The main downside of the idea is that it can be complicated to arrange but there are a number of location agencies around the country who help find the perfect photoshoot locations London film companies and magazines are always looking for, who can act as a go-between. They can find the right crew who need your type of property and arrange all the payment and legal side.
Short Term Rent for Holidays
Short term rentals for days or weeks are a big hit at the moment with the popularity of sites such as Airbnb increasing on a daily basis. The idea is simple – rather than renting out the house to someone as their permanent home for six or twelve months, you rent it to someone staying in the location for a day, week or a few weeks. Then when you have a permanent tenant lined up, you take the property off the short term rent market.
The main downside of the option may be that there is no real guarantee of someone wanting to rent your property but if there is no tenant in place, it may be a risk worth taking.
Short Term Rent for Business
A similar idea may be to rent to property out to business people who need to stay in a location for a period of time. They might be working on a project for a few months or even just weeks but want somewhere they can bring their family and that isn’t a hotel. Again, demand can be variable but something is better than nothing when you have a mortgage to pay!