Summer is here but, while you’re enjoying the warmer weather, it’s worth considering the security of your rental property if your tenants are planning a holiday, especially if an extended break is on the agenda.
Long periods of absence could actually invalidate your insurance so, if something goes wrong – such as a flood or burglary – your insurance company may not pay out. This is why we ask tenants in our contract to notify us or the landlord before leaving the property empty for a period of three weeks or more.
A week or two in the sun is not usually a problem and, whether we look after the property for you or you self-manage, it can in fact can be the ideal time to redecorate or carry out repairs, if your tenant agrees. From their point of view, they get the work done with minimum disruption and come home to an improved property.
But if they are planning to go away for longer, it is worth checking your insurance policy, to see if your property will be covered. The good news is, if you have taken our own specialist landlord insurance policy, you will be covered for the tenant being away for up to 30 days. If you are worried at all, don’t hesitate to contact your local Leaders branch or you can find out more about our specialist landlord cover here
One of the key things for any property is security and ensuring any measures, such as a burglar alarm, are used. It’s also a good idea to suggest your tenant fits timer switches on lamps and asks neighbours to put out and return the wheelie bin on collection day to make the home look occupied. A good safety precaution – to help prevent leaks and floods – is to turn off the water at the stop-tap, although this is not advised for winter holidays, when leaving the heating on can help prevent pipes from freezing.
Another essential measure is to make sure the neighbours know the property is rented and they have contact details, in case of any problems; these could be our details if we manage the property or your own phone number if you self-manage.
Of course, even with good preparation, things can and do happen so good insurance is vital and it is worth checking you have the right cover. We offer specialist landlord insurance which covers a variety of tenant types, freehold and leasehold properties, single properties as well as portfolios.
Finally, if you are taking a well-earned holiday yourself and you use our full management services, you can relax knowing that your property will be taken care of while you are away. If you self-manage, however, have you remembered to organise cover for while you are away? The last thing you want after a relaxing break in the sun is to come home to a list of problems and maintenance requests. It’s always a good idea to give your tenant a contact number for someone who can help, or a list of trusted tradespeople, including an electrician and plumber.
Whether you are self-managing or we are looking after the property for you, if you’d like to find out more about ensuring your property is kept safe in the holiday season, do get in touch with your local branch.