Looking after an empty property

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

As a landlord you may appreciate only too well that your income depends on your property being let out to tenants.

If something happens and your property is empty, then not only is your earning ability reduced but your property may start to deteriorate over any extended period of time and that might seriously affect the value of your asset.

Looking after your empty property may, therefore, be in your own best interests.

Of course, if you are not earning income from the property and it needs some repairs carried out before you can let it again, then you may be facing a catch-22 situation, where you need to earn rental income to be able to afford to carry out the repairs but cannot earn income until the repairs are completed.

In these situations, getting in touch with your local authority or housing association to investigate options for grants etc. may be one solution open to you. You may even just have to accept that it may be best to sell the property but bear in mind that its condition may typically affect its selling price.

Hopefully though, you may be in the more fortunate position of being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as letting out your property is concerned.

You may have been carrying out some renovation work that has overrun or just be finding it difficult to find new tenants to move into your property.

Keeping track of the length of time your property is standing empty though may typically be a sound idea because if the period extends beyond 30 days, then your standard landlords insurance cover may no longer be valid.

In these situations, you may need to consider unoccupied property insurance to provide financial protection for your asset. While this may not be on offer from all insurance providers, the good news is that we offer (what we believe is) competitively-priced cover to protect your empty property.

It is worth noting that landlords are not being singled out in these situations, owner occupiers too may find that their own home buildings and contents insurance may cease to provide protection if their property is empty for extended periods.

An important aspect of insurance cover for unoccupied properties that you may wish to bear in mind is that their terms and conditions may include features such as requiring that you:

  • visit the property on a regular basis to tidy up the garden;
  • carry out regular maintenance activities, as well as fixing any problems that may have popped up and which might deteriorate over time;
  • keep a record of visits and any work carried out.