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Rental properties being empty for significant parts of the year is pretty commonplace, especially for student landlords. And in October 2022, there were 676,304 recorded empty homes in England. In this piece of advice, you will find out how to secure and maintain your empty rental property as a landlord. 

A rental property could be a passive income you rely on heavily that can help you for many years to come, and providing adequate security and maintaining your rental property when it is empty is crucial to protecting your investment. 

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At CIA Landlords, we have over 20 years of experience as a landlord insurance brokerage, offering affordable landlord insurance for occupied and unoccupied rental properties.  

Get reliable home security in place

There are higher associated risks to owning an empty property. As a landlord of an empty rental property, you certainly don’t want anyone vandalising or breaking an entry into your property. You can help to safeguard your empty property by installing reliable alarm systems, CCTV surveillance, safe locks, and possibly having a security gate in front of your driveway. 

Be careful who you give the keys to

It may sound like an obvious one but don’t forget to take precautions with whom you give the keys to the property. Remember that you can install a secure key safe if you want to provide easy access to the property’s keys. 

Check your landlord insurance policy

Be sure to read all the small print and check your landlord insurance policy. After 30 days of being unoccupied, a standard landlord insurance policy may not cover your property.

Take out unoccupied landlord insurance 

The solution for getting cover for your empty property is taking out a specialist unoccupied landlord insurance policy with us at CIA Landlords, where you can compare quotes from 9 different insurers to get the best price. 

Short term unoccupied landlord insurance

If you rent to students or people who spend part of the year living or working overseas, there may be a stretch of months when your tenants aren’t living in your rental property. At CIA Landlords, we work with insurance companies offering short-term unoccupied landlord insurance for as little as 90 days.

In terms of access, remember that mid-tenancy landlords are not able to gain entry to a rental property without obtaining permission from the tenant, even if no one is currently in it.  

Long-term unoccupied landlord insurance 

Will your rental property be unoccupied over an extended time period? We also offer specialist long-term unoccupied landlord insurance policies for properties that are empty for 12 months. 

Ensure all utilities and appliances are switched off

You don’t want burst pipes, electricity outages, or gas leaks in your empty rental property. Therefore, make sure all utilities are switched off, including fuse boards, the boiler, and the water supply. 

Also, turn off appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ovens. Leaving them on in your empty property could leave you with a big bill or lead to damage. 

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Carry out any necessary repairs or home improvements

Do you currently have an empty property? Now could be a great time to perform any repairs or home improvements you feel need doing. That way, the place will be ready for new tenants with any upgrades or such like in place. Could the property do with some more powerful light fixtures? Put them in while your property is empty and unoccupied.

Maintain outdoor areas 

Landlords are responsible for maintaining areas of the garden which it would be unreasonable to expect tenants to take care of, and this includes trees, hedges, shrubs, and fencing to secure the boundaries of the property. When your property is empty with no signed up tenants, why not maintain outdoor areas and spruce the garden up a bit? 

Do I have to pay council tax on an empty property? 

Yes, you still must pay council tax on empty properties as a landlord. If a property is left unoccupied for 2 years, then you have to pay double council tax.

How can I make landlord savings? 

Are you paying too much for the property broadband or other utilities such as energy bills? While the property is still empty, take stock and look at ways you could make savings as a landlord. 

Do you need unoccupied landlord insurance for your empty property? Learn about the competitive prices of our partners at CIA Landlords by getting a landlord insurance quote today. Call us on 01788 818 670 or info@cia-insurance.co.uk to get in touch/

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