Leaving a Property Empty Long Term

publication date: Sep 18, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
If you leave the property empty, then follow our ‘empty property checklist’ to make sure that you keep it as safe as possible for when your parent returns:-

Empty Property Checklist

1.  Make sure the property is insured for being empty for more than 30 days (or whatever the current home insurance covers).

2.  Turn off the gas, water and all plugs so the property is kept safe.

3.  Cancel or redirect as many deliveries as you can, such as milk, newspapers or other mail.

4.  Ensure you have an alarm or something that would alert YOU or neighbours if they are around, that the property was being broken into.

5.  Either ask a neighbour/friend to visit the property a couple of times a week or do it yourself and ensure all post is read and throw away (or cancel) anything that is no longer needed.

6.  Make sure that the curtains or blinds are closed/opened regularly.

7.  Enhance security by having lights/radio etc coming on at different times of the day.
8.  Ensure that the garden is kept in as good an order as possible. Contact ‘Help the Aged’ as they may be able to suggest a good value gardener that’s been checked by them.

9.  In summer months, be on the lookout for unwanted visitors such as ants.

10. In the winter, check that the boiler still works.

Finally, when your mum or dad does come home, check the place over thoroughly a few weeks or so beforehand, especially if your parent may need some help or changes to the property post nursing/hospital care.

Read the next article in this series Renting an Owned Property.

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