There are many scenarios that may lead to a landlord having a vacant property. But how do you protect a home when you don’t live there? We explore the steps that a landlord should take to protect their investment if it does become empty.
Landlords can often find themselves with a vacant property. For instance, their tenants could be on holiday for a long period of time, or they could be in between tenants, or suffering a void period.
The following top tips will help to keep an empty property safe during these periods:
Ensure you have the right insurance cover
Even if you take steps to protect a vacant property, you can never be 100% sure that it won’t be targeted by thieves or be subject to damage (such as a burst pipe) while no one is there. As such, landlords should make sure that they have adequate property insurance in place.
Just as you’d insure your own home, your rental property is an investment that should be protected by the correct insurance.
Check with your insurer
What you often find with landlord insurance policies is that they have limitations on the length of unoccupancy of the property, before it’s no longer covered. Therefore, if your rental is going to be empty for some time, you should look for specialist unoccupied property insurance.
For example, Unoccupied Property Insurance from Just Landlords covers you in a range of situations and offers two distinct levels of cover, so that you can choose the policy that suits your needs.
Watch out for basic cover
Whichever company you use for insurance, you should take a look at the policy and ensure that you’re receiving the level of protection that your property needs. Sometimes, an insurer will restrict the level of cover offered on vacant homes.
Unless you choose a basic product, make sure that you have all of the covers within your unoccupied property insurance that you really need; often, the basic covers provided aren’t actually the ones claimed for in these scenarios.
Which covers do you need?
There are two main perils that you think of when leaving a home empty for a long period of time: theft by burglary and burst pipes during winter. As such, you should always ensure that your insurance includes cover for these two situations.
Burglars often target vacant properties, so this cover is essential. Winter can also cause escape of water damage to a home through burst pipes, so make sure that these protections are in place.
However landlords find themselves in situations where their investment is empty, there are simple measures that they can take to minimise the risks associated with having a vacant property. Follow these steps to protect yours.
If your property is going to be empty for any period of time, either due to in-occupation or renovation then check you’re still covered by your insurance policy – many will stipulate certain conditions relating to required security measures, or the length of time the property is vacant, beyond which you may no longer be entitled to compensation. For further information about how to secure your vacant property please contact our knowledgeable and friendly team for advice and a no-obligation quotation.