Maintaining cover for unoccupied properties

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

As a landlord, you may be all too well aware that you may never really achieve 100% occupancy of your property – particularly if you don’t specialise in long term rentals.

You may know that between tenant changeovers and during times when you may be refurbishing or redecorating your property, your property may not be earning you any rental income.

While you may do your utmost to ensure that these periods are a short as possible, there may be times when things may be completely out of your control.

In addition to the situations mentioned above, you may be relying on builders who are running late or possibly awaiting the delivery of parts or equipment. Your property itself may be the subject of legal proceedings due to probate or divorce. You may even be on en extended holiday or business trip and don’t want to let until your return.

If you have a standard landlords’ insurance policy, then you may find that it will clearly stipulate the length of time that your property can stand empty without tenants, without jeopardising the actual cover provided.

For some policies that is typically set somewhere between 30 and 45 consecutive days.

After that time, to maintain continuity of cover, you may need to consider unoccupied property cover – which specifically addresses those risks that may be more common with empty properties. These could include things like vandalism, burglary or damage from something like a leaking pipe or broken window becoming worse because no one is around to make repairs.

If you are looking round for cheap unoccupied property insurance, you may wish to bear in mind that what might be cheap for one landlord may not appear cheap to you. Just as with a standard policy, you may need to carefully read through the detail – including the terms and conditions, to satisfy yourself that it provides the cover you need for your business asset.

You may be looking out for aspects of cover like subsidence, fire and theft, to all be included under standard cover.

Don’t forget either to look through the terms and conditions, as these may vary from those typically found on a standard policy.

You may be required to ensure that the property is regularly inspected so that routine maintenance can be carried out, as well as nipping in the bud any problems which may become worse over time.