When your buy to let property is unoccupied, the risks it faces are different to those which exist when you have tenants in residence. You may, therefore, need to compare unoccupied property insurance if you are to find the most appropriate cover for your situation.
A stitch in time
When you have tenants in your property, it may often be the case that they can report any problem with the property before it has a chance to get worse and possibly cause more damage.
If the property is empty, however, then problems may go unnoticed and particularly if liquids are involved, there may be additional damage with dampness and rot setting in.
This may lead to higher claims, which is why unoccupied property insurance is typically necessary if your property is to lie empty for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.
Landlords and owner-occupiers
It is not a case of landlord insurance being unfairly targeted for this additional element of cover though. The same requirement typically also applies to owner-occupiers.
The reason the property is empty is largely irrelevant. It could be as the result of:
- the property being in probate or tied up pending the result of divorce proceedings;
- renovations or modifications being carried out (these can over run very easily, no matter how carefully you may have planned the work);
- perhaps you will be away for an extended business trip;
- maybe you are treating yourself to the holiday of a lifetime;
- you may be looking for new tenants of just be waiting for them to move in.
Terms and conditions
Different policies may have different terms and conditions, as you may see when you compare unoccupied property insurance quotes. These could include requirements to:
- arrange for the property to be inspected regularly and have ongoing maintenance and repairs carried out;
- keep a log of visits made and work undertaken;
- try and keep the garden tidy and if you have builders in, to try and keep it clear of rubble etc;
- if possible, to arrange for a light to go on when darkness falls to give your property a lived in look to help deter thieves and vandals.
If you compare unoccupied property insurance policies, you may quickly be able to find the cover that most suits your own particular set of circumstances.