At the moment especially, during the COVID-19 pandemic, more properties are lying vacant. This unfortunately just leaves them more susceptible to criminal and general property damage.
Here are some important things to consider in order to properly maintain your vacant property…
Importantly – ensure that your Property Insurance is all up-to-date, so you’re prepared should anything go wrong. This includes informing your broker or your Insurance company directly, that your property will be vacant.
- Maintain all your smoke and security alarms in your unoccupied property – you can often do this remotely, so you don’t need to check in as often.
- Keep all the exterior doors and any lockable windows locked.
- Remove any trees or shrubbery that cover your house keeping the property hidden or looking like it’s unoccupied.
- Ideally, have any post redirected and even seal your letterbox shut so you don’t have any post at the empty property. This can be a giveaway of an empty property.
- Consider perimeter fencing and security lighting around your property.
- Disconnect the unnecessary utilities at your property – especially any hazardous utilities that require supervision.
- Maintain some ventilation into your property.
- Drain down any water tanks at your property.
- Remove any contents from inside or outside your property that doesn’t need to be there.
- Remove all waste and combustible materials from outside your property. Keep the drains and gutters clear of any debris. Minimise the amount of waste that may accumulate and arrange an alternative if waste removal services aren’t available.
- Check the roof for potential damage and make the repairs sooner rather than later. This includes animal infestation, waste build-up, mould or deterioration.
- Ensure that your property’s features are intact and won’t be easily damaged by the elements.
Regular maintenance is key. If you’re following the advice and checking up on your property at least once a week, not only will your vacant property be safer and less prone to damage, but you’ll also be more likely to have a successful insurance claim, should it be necessary to make one.