Keeping an empty property in good looked-after condition is only common sense.
You have a lot of money invested in the property and allowing it to deteriorate, just because there are no tenants in occupation, wouldn’t be a smart move.
There are a few basic things you might wish to think about once if your property is going to be empty for anything more than a relatively short period:
- make sure that your insurance remains valid. Once your property has sat unoccupied for more than around 30 consecutive days (the exact number will typically be specified in your landlords’ policy) your cover may become invalid. You might need an unoccupied property insurance quote to make sure you benefit from continuity of cover. Specialist providers of unoccupied property insurance such as ourselves Cover4LetProperty will be able to provide additional details;
- think about security. Many burglaries, attacks of vandalism and squatting episodes, are essentially opportunistic. As a result, anything you can do to hide the fact that your property is sitting unoccupied from potentially prying eyes, might help keep it that bit safer;
- good examples of how to help camouflage your property in that respect include making sure that there are no accumulations of post in letter boxes, putting lights on timer switches, regularly adjusting the position of curtains and blinds when visiting and making sure that garden areas are kept in good tidy condition;
- visit your property very regularly to check for small problems that might become big ones through inaction due to the fact no tenants are in residence to notice and report them to you;
- shut off your water and gas at source and drain down the heating and water systems if you believe that the property is like to sit empty for some considerable time. One slight exception to this just might arise where a freeze is forecast in which case you may wish to leave the central heating on an occasional use low thermostat level in order to avoid frost damage (check if your policy would permit this)
- prevent any of the various forms of infestation from taking hold. One of the most useful things here is to ensure that absolutely no foodstuffs are left anywhere in the property. You might also wish to consider things such as sonic repellents or humane traps etc. Remember, it can be extremely difficult to remove infestations once they become established
- you might wish to position dehumidifiers and deodorizers at certain parts of your property. Nothing is more likely to put off prospective new tenants than a damp and aged smell arising from a property that has stood unoccupied for some time;
- if there are internal building or redecoration works underway, try to avoid allowing builders to hang their signs so that they are visible from outside the property.
These are just a few basic steps. Yet taking them seriously just might help keep your property that bit safer and in that bit better condition.