Looking at unoccupied property insurance

June 14, 2012

Landlords Insurance

When you take out a buy to let mortgage, you may find that, as a landlord, there are certain obligations imposed on you as a part of the conditions of the loan.

One of these may typically be that you have to have landlords insurance in place at all times.

This does not necessarily just mean purchasing a policy and assuming that you can forget all about it for the next 12 months.

You may find, for example, that any insurance policy for property whether buy to let or not, may require that additional action is taken should the property be vacant for an extended period of time:

  • with some policies this may be somewhere in the region of 30 or 45 days and a time limit of 90 days may apply if you have not had tenants in your policy since the inception of the cover;
  • whatever the limit is, once it has expired, you may find that the existing policy may cease to provide cover and unoccupied property insurance is required;
  • the reasons for this are simply due to the fact that when no one is living in a property, whether it is furnished or not, the risks that it faces change;
  • it may become more attractive a proposition to thieves and vandals for example or more prone to having damage from storms and rain ingress become more serious if left unattended over a period of time;
  • the reason the property is empty typically makes no difference to this requirement;
  • you could be having problems finding new tenants or perhaps renovations to the property are taking longer than anticipated. There may be legal reasons why you are unable to let the property out;
  • you may also need to take care to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions that may be attached to this type of property cover;
  • you may find that you are obliged to keep a record of regular visits made to the property to carry out repairs and maintenance etc and to keep a log of the work carried out;
  • there may be special mention made of the advisability of keeping external areas of the property well-tended – cutting the grass for example or clearing up rubbish that may have accumulated.

Of course, no landlord can afford be complacent about their property standing empty and not generating rental income for them. Using our service to obtain an unoccupied cover quote may be the first step towards you finding appropriate and cost-effective cover for your property to tide you over until you property is let out again.

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