You may think that an empty property is relatively cheap to own with no utility bills, maintenance or running costs. In reality, there are a number of expenses associated with a vacant house.
We have listed some below:
- Security: An unoccupied property is an attractive proposition for vandals and thieves. Even if a building is empty of contents some criminals will target the fixtures and fittings like fireplaces, copper pipes, boilers and radiators. Investing in good quality security measures like 5 lever mortice deadlocks, key operated window locks or even a burglar alarm could help to put off criminals.
- The threat of squatters: Although squatting is against the law, allowing the police to remove anyone doing so, there will undoubtedly be the cost of the clean up and repairs to the building which could soon mount up into a sizeable bill. So spending on strong locks and good security measures could help prevent this happening to you.
- Maintenance: An unoccupied property presents the ideal time to check the building for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Spotting a minor fault early and getting it repaired by a qualified person could help to prevent further damage and a hefty bill in the future. Don't forget that an empty building can deteriorate quicker than you may think so make sure you do routine checks on a regular basis. You may find some unoccupied property insurance policies require regular checks of your property and keep written records of each visit – so make sure you know what your insurance policy says.
- Unoccupied Property Insurance: Normal home insurance usually won't provide cover for properties that are left empty for extended periods, normally more than a month. Specialist unoccupied property insurance, such as the one provided by Click4quote.com, can provide cover for extended periods of unoccupancy. These types of policies are designed for the specific needs of an empty property.
- Council Tax: Whilst you will normally still have to still pay Council Tax on your empty property always check with your local council as they may decide to give you a discount. However they can increase the amount payable if the property has been empty for an extended period of time.
- Losing Income: You could be losing out on potential rental income. The longer your property stands empty the bigger the amount of potential earnings it could be making for you. Rather than have a property stand empty while you carry out maintenance work, consider seeking permission of your tenant to work around them. It may even be financial more advantageous to offer them some recompense in exchange, rather than have a completely empty property. Always check your insurance policy for any specific requirements.
- Some good news: Sometimes it's not all about the expense, if your property has been vacant for more than two years and you renovate it into residential accommodation you may be entitled to a reduced rate of VAT on the work that is carried out.
How can Click4quote property insurance help?
Very few people choose to have a property unoccupied for extended periods, but if you are faced with such a situation, make sure you understand the risks and have the right insurance to protect your unoccupied property.
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