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According to research, there has been a recent decline in void periods in tenancies this February, which is encouraging news for the private rented sector. The statistics show that the average standing was 19 days across the UK in February, a decrease of one day from 20 in January 2020. This comes from the latest research and rental index released by Goodlord, the lettings platform and property technology company.

The firm discovered that landlords in the capital experienced the largest drop in void periods, with the average falling to just 10 days in February, from 15 days a month earlier. Landlords with buy-to-let properties located in the West Midlands, the South West, South East and North West also experienced a drop in the average void period in tenancies. 

However, average void periods in the East Midlands rose 8 days, from 19 days during January 2020 to 27 days in February. This was not the only region which experienced an increase, with the North East also experiencing a rise in the average void period in a tenancy. Although a more modest increase, the average grew from 22 days in January to 24 in February 2020.

The statistics provided by Goodlord have also revealed that the average rental price has increased or at least held steady in three of the eight regions observed. However, overall there was a fall in the average rental cost across the UK, which reflects the fact that the month of February is usually a slow month for increases in rent prices.

The average cost for rent overall in the UK has dipped by £11 pcm per calendar month, from £875 in January 2020, to £864 pcm in February. However, the average decline experienced in most regions was between 2 and 1 per cent. 

Three regions in the UK bucked this trend. The Midlands and South East experienced an increase in rental costs by 1 per cent on average, while rent prices in the South West experienced the highest increase, and rose by 2 per cent. 

Elsewhere in the UK, the North East and East Midlands experienced a marginal drop in average rental prices by 1 per cent, while in Greater London rental prices fell by 2 per cent. 

However, the biggest change in rental prices was in the North West region of England, where rental prices dropped by £28, or 4 per cent, on average to £687 pcm during February 2020 from £715 pcm during January 2020. 

The COO at Goodlord, Tom Mundy, has stated that as February is one of the slowest months in the year for rentals traditionally, it means that these statistics do align with their predictions for this timeframe. 

This provides a valuable opportunity for landlords and letting agents to assess the systems which have been put in place to ensure that they are not only ready for the increase in volumes which are likely as we move towards the summer months but also the upcoming changes in legislation. These changes, such as new standards and regulation in electrical safety, which will be introduced from July 2020, are likely to increase administration tasks. 

For example, rental property software such as an InventoryBase provide crucial tools for the completion of reports such as risk assessments, building inspections, inventory and check-outs and the checking in of tenants. This ensures that processes are completed to a professional standard and that landlords and letting agents meet the required legal requirements and regulations, which are constantly changing. In the event of a dispute with tenants, comprehensive inventory reports prove the condition of items within a rental property at the start of a tenancy.