How To Maintain An Unoccupied Property

Whether it’s your main residence or a holiday home, there are times when you will have to leave your home empty. Perhaps you’re taking a long holiday or you’re planning building work and have to move out for a time. Here’s how you can make sure your property is protected while you’re not there.

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Check your policy to see when your insurer will consider your property to be unoccupied and when you will need to amend your policy. In many cases, you can leave your home empty for up to 29 days as it is considered unoccupied after 30.

Shoring Up

When your home is empty, the risk of burglary or vandalism increases. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to minimize that risk and safeguard your possessions.

Securing your home is important, so check all the locks before you leave. That includes doors and windows, but also any sheds or outbuildings. Investing in an alarm is also a good idea

Leave the utilities connected because being able to have lights on in the evenings can be a deterrent to potential opportunist criminals. There are timers available to ensure the lights go on and off at the right time.

Similarly, setting your heating to come on periodically can ensure that your pipes do not freeze in the colder winter months and reduce the risk of a plumbing disaster!

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Conduct regular inspections of your home. If you are unable to visit yourself, ask a neighbor or even a property management agency to visit on your behalf. Don’t forget the garden. In the warmer summer months, in particular, your garden can indicate you’re away if the lawn is unkempt and hedges are overgrown.

For more information on how to maintain your property when no one is home, check out some tips from Money Saving Advice.

Keep track of everything in your property, even when you’re not there, with property inventory software from companies like Inventory Base

It is also worth checking the small print on your insurance policy in case there are stipulations about things like boarding up windows when the property is unoccupied.

If you know that you won’t be at a property for a while, take your valuables with you. That includes jewelry and electronics, but also valuable artwork and furniture.