Owning an unoccupied property might not seem much trouble, especially if have purchased unoccupied home insurance but if it is not maintained properly you could find yourself on the receiving end of a claim for compensation. A visitor or passer by could easily be injured and find a lawyer to pursue you; possibly under a “non win, no fee” agreement. It is a good idea to check empty property regularly and have a plan for dealing with any disrepair; especially if it could be dangerous. A specialist insurance policy is needed – standard policies will probably not be suitable.

You may also find the local authority taking more than a passing interest in your unoccupied property. Many councils even have “empty property” officers dedicated to resolving issues such as complaints from neighbours about unsightly vacant premises. It is the responsibility of the building control section to deal with reports of dangerous structures. If they think an unoccupied building is unsafe they will give the owner a deadline to repair it and if necessary the council can take action to make it safe. The support of a specialist insurer that offers unoccupied insurance can be a real benefit if things go wrong with your unoccupied property but make sure you check your policy carefully and follow the insurer’s requirements.