Unoccupied property insurance can be more expensive than standard building insurance, but did you know that if you leave a building unoccupied and fail to notify your insurers, your policy may be null and void? Therefore, take care if obtaining a property for buy to let or for renovation purposes - and don't make the mistake of not telling your insurers! Vacant properties are attractive to squatters, those bent on vandalism as well as the possibility of the outbreak of fire. A property is normally considered to be vacant if left unoccupied for more than 30 days.
When obtaining insurance for an empty property, you should take the following steps:
> Inspect the property regularly, checking for damp, flooding or general damage
> Carry out all necessary repairs swiftly
> Remove all valuables from the property
> Seal letterboxes to reduce vandalism
> Switch off utilities – except for the need to have some form heating set to frost alert as necessary
> Set the burglar alarm (if installed)
> Use high security door and window locks
If you are carrying out renovation or building works, take into consideration the following points:
> Observe health and safety regulations
> The extent of the work to be carried out
> The duration of the work
> Professional competence and due diligence of contractors working on the site
> Remember that if the contractors are not adequately insured for the work they are carrying out, you could be held liable for any damage or injury that they may cause!
Keep your property safe from nightmares whilst you make it your dream property – get professional advice and the right sort of insurance, and then look forward to the future you want.