How to maintain your empty property
Published Mon, Jun 18, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
As a landlord, you are likely to want to keep your property occupied by tenants for as much time as possible. However, there may well be periods when, for various reasons, you are unable to let it out.
During such periods, it is important to know how to properly care for and maintain your property. This may help to prevent problems from occurring and may make it easier to let it out to tenants in the future.
Consider purchasing insurance
You may already have insurance for your property, but if there is a chance that the property is going to be unoccupied for 30 days or more then it may be important for you to arrange unoccupied property insurance. This is a special type of insurance which is a standalone policy. It protects your property even when it is not occupied by tenants.
Many insurance policies include clauses stating that if no one lives in the property for over 30 consecutive days then this may affect some claims. To prevent this from happening to you, this type of insurance may well be worth your while considering.
Carry out regular checks
If no one is living in your property then it is important that you carry out regular checks to ensure that everything is fine. Plumbing problems and other issues may well become a problem if no one is regularly checking the property, so make it part of your weekly or fortnightly duties to look over the entire property and spot any problems.
React to problems promptly
If you do spot any potential problems then it is important to react to them as quickly as possible. Issues such as burst pipes may seem like a small issue, but they may quickly turn into something very serious if left alone for too long, leading to flooding and dampness which may then be more expensive to fix.
Switch off water and gas
If the property is unoccupied for a long period then you may want to switch off the water and gas supply to reduce the chances of any problems occurring.
Protect your property from burglary
Another thing to consider is that your property may be more appealing to burglars if it is obvious that it is unoccupied. To reduce the likelihood of your property being targeted, on top of installing extra security fittings such as locks on the windows and doors, and a burglar alarm, try to make it look more lived in by mowing the lawn, tidying up the outside of the property and clearing the post away from the front door. You may even want to leave a security light to come on during the night.
Look after your unoccupied property
These tips may help you to better look after your property when there are no tenants living within it. Just remember to arrange unoccupied property insurance if you do not want to take any chances.