Should Landlords Risk a Void Period for Higher Rent?

When landlords receive offers that fall short of their desired rental price, they often face a dilemma: should they accept the offer and secure a tenant quickly, or should they hold out for higher rent, risking a potentially prolonged vacancy? This article discusses the factors landlords should consider when deciding whether to accept or reject an offer that doesn't meet their rental expectations.


Market Forces Determine Rent: While landlords may have their own financial needs and expenses, the rental market ultimately decides the appropriate rent for a property. The market is influenced by factors such as location, property condition, demand for rental units, and prevailing economic conditions. Trying to set rent solely based on personal needs might lead to unrealistic expectations, making it crucial to assess the prevailing market rates in the area.


Considering Market Conditions: Before deciding to reject an offer for higher rent, landlords must carefully assess the current market conditions. If the demand for rental properties is high and there is a scarcity of available units, it might be reasonable to hold out for higher rent offers. However, in a competitive market with plenty of vacant properties, rejecting a reasonable offer could lead to a longer void period, resulting in financial losses that might outweigh the potential gains from a higher rent.


Negotiation and Counteroffers: Rather than outright rejecting an offer that doesn't meet their expectations, landlords can explore negotiation and counteroffer options. Engaging in constructive discussions with prospective tenants can lead to a mutually beneficial agreement. This approach can help landlords find a middle ground that is acceptable to both parties and reduce the risk of a prolonged void period.

Value of a Reliable Tenant: A key consideration for landlords is the value of securing a reliable tenant. Long-term tenancies with trustworthy renters can provide stability, reduce turnover costs, and minimise the risk of property damage. Accepting a slightly lower rent offer from a responsible tenant might be a wiser choice than risking a void period in hopes of finding a higher-paying tenant, especially if the market is relatively competitive.


Long-Term Considerations: Landlords should also weigh the long-term benefits of certain offers. A lower initial rent offer might come from a tenant willing to sign a longer lease, providing more stable income over an extended period. Considering the potential savings on advertising, tenant screening, and turnover costs, accepting a reasonable offer from a reliable, long-term tenant can be financially advantageous.


In the rental market, landlords must navigate between their financial needs and market realities. While the desire for higher rent is understandable, rejecting reasonable offers could lead to longer void periods and potential financial losses. By considering market conditions, negotiating with prospective tenants, and evaluating the long-term advantages of a stable renter, landlords can make informed decisions that strike a balance between their expectations and market forces.