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Quote Ref: UKIN01

What to Consider When Your Property is Empty

Old fashioned houses
03 November 2020

By UKinsuranceNET In Unoccupied Property Advice

If you read through the details of your landlords’ insurance policy, you may note that there are significant parts of it that relate to the risks that you and your property face as the direct result of having tenants living there.

These might include factors relating to accidental and malicious damage by tenants, the types of tenants that you can and can’t have in your property; third party liability issues and so on.

A few key points to note about such cover:

  • it is typically not advisable to assume that your property is safer from risk when it is empty than it is when your tenants are in occupation;
  • what typically is the case is the risks don’t diminish overall – they just change;
  • what this means from an insurance point of view is that if your property is standing empty for a prolonged period of time, your existing insurance cover may cease completely or only offer protection at a much reduced level;
  • if you want to ensure that your property stays adequately covered then you may have to purchase unoccupied property insurance;
  • when you might need to change to this type of cover will depend on the terms and conditions of your original policy;
  • some, for example, may cease providing cover after 30 consecutive days of your property standing empty though here at UKinsuranceNET we are able to provide policies which extend cover for up to 45 days (in some cases, 90 days);
  • we also can typically provide cover which takes into account the fact that your property may be empty when you first buy it and for some time after, while you carry out repairs and refurbishments;
  • if you have a buy to let mortgage on your property, the conditions of your loan may require that you have buy to let insurance cover in place at all times. It is obviously therefore important you fully understand what you need to do if your property remains unoccupied for longer than your policy covers;
  • in terms of minimising risk when your letting property is empty, you may find that your insurance cover is subject to certain conditions;
  • these could include requiring you to make regular inspections of the property and to carry out any necessary repairs;
  • cover may also be conditional on having the electricity and water cut off to reduce the risks of fires or floods. Conversely though, you may be asked to leave some heating on during the winter months to reduce the likelihood of frost damage;

Landlord insurance cover is not really all that complicated.

There are a lot of variables involved with different types of buildings and different types of tenants being just two. Getting advice from qualified specialists such as ourselves may be essential if you are to be sure that you have the cover that is most appropriate for you and your own combination of factors.

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