Looking After A Vacant Property

Vacant PropertyIt’s not unusual for a property to become unoccupied, whether for a few weeks or a couple of years.  During this time you need to make sure you carry out some basic management responsibilities and tasks to keep the property safe.  Also you must tell your insurers! Failure to do so could lead to the policy becoming void in the event of a claim. Obviously a vacant property is at a heightened risk of damage, whether from vandalism or burst pipes, etc.  So what can you do?  You have a duty of care to make sure the property is safe There are several steps you can take to protect your property. 1)   Tell your brokers/insurers! 2)   Check what terms and conditions your insurers have placed on the property.  This could range from draining water tanks to keeping the heating on a low setting to prevent freezing pipes. 3)   Talk to your neighbours.  They can be very useful in reporting any unauthorized entry or damage. 4)   If necessary, tell the local authorities. 5)   Turn off all gas supplies at the mains (unless continuous heating is required). 6)   Turn off all electrical supplies (unless required for the functioning of an alarm or CCTV). 7)   Remove all combustible materials from around the property. 8)    Maintain an appearance of continued use if possible.

What else should we look at which may help reduce the risk of a loss and protect our property?

From a security point of view, perimeter fencing and gates are good and help prevent unauthorized access.  Close access to car parks (if a commercial property) and employ anti climbing paint and security if necessary.  Keeping a security alarm active is a great way of protecting the premises, as well as CCTV.  If there is no power, a battery powered alarm is a possibility.

Maintenance

Its essential (and normally a condition of your insurance) to carry out regular checks of the property.  Maintain all fire and security equipment in good working order and test regulary.  Control any work that is carried out by contractors and make sure they hold their own insurance.  Finally maintain all fire and smoke alarms and sprinklers if applicable. There are many companies that can help you achieve the conditions laid down by insurers.  Most are common sense but actually achieving them can be difficult.  Speak to Bromwall if you need any help or assistance. Check out our unoccupied property insurance page here

If you want to learn more or would like a quote or have queries relating to the above please call us on 01707 883377 or email us on info@bromwall.com.

Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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