Whether its a second home, a holiday home or just a white elephant that refuses to sell having an empty property can be pretty stressful. It’s even worse if this property is a long way from home and you can’t just pop in when you are passing to check everything is okay. For peace of mind you should have empty property insurance in place as there are many problems that can arise. Here we look at 5 of them.
Squatters – Insurance for Unoccupied Property
The number one worry of having a property is standing empty is somebody moving in illegally and claiming squatters rights. This claiming the right of occupation as opposed to ownership and while this is illegal, and can carry a jail sentence and a hefty fine there are literally thousands of properties across the UK currently occupied by squatters. If the property is non-residential it becomes somewhat of a grey area as technically they aren’t breaking the law unless they cause damage. It can prove extremely stressful if you find you have squatters and increased security measure should be in place.
Vandalism and property insurance
Even with lights on a timer and other such things it doesn’t take long for other people to work out that nobody is living there. Vandalism is a very real threat and is classed as somebody causing wilful damage to a property without actually stealing anything. If this is outside the property, such as graffiti on the walls etc it remains vandalism if it occurs inside the property you can add breaking and entering to the list of misdemeanours.
Theft and empty property insurance
Theft is a horrible thing to deal with at any time and chances are if your empty property is a second or holiday home you will have valuable possessions there to save you having to take them with you every time you visit. The key here is not to leave anything there with a personal value, those items which are worthless financially but irreplaceable. Your empty property insurance will replace the television, games console etc but those pictures or treasured items will be gone forever.
Depreciation and our Insurance for Unoccupied Property
The longer a house is left empty the quicker it will fall into disrepair and the value depreciate. Engaging the services of a local property management company can be a god send in terms of keeping on top of things and recognising and dealing with problems as they occur. If this property is used as a holiday rental and stands empty the rest of the year you need to have a plan in place for the rental side anyway and many companies who deal with this will extend their services to the rest of the year.
Infestations and insurance for empty properties
While we don’t suffer from the beasties in other countries an infestation of flies or bluebottle are a very real possibility in an empty property and a nightmare to get rid of. Rats and mice will breed like wildfire when not kept in check and it can be a very costly business to call in the experts to fumigate a property.