There are various different measures to be taken when preparing a property to become empty or vacant, beyond the realms of typical vacant property security options, all of which go some way in helping to secure it from damage when unoccupied. It can be a worrisome and stressful time for anyone planning to leave their property empty or vacant, be it a residential or commercial property, as leaving any property unoccupied makes it more vulnerable to intruders and other threats.
How to Prepare a Vacant Property
When you initially make the decision to leave a property unoccupied, it is crucial that you tell your insurance provider, as failure to do so can mean that if your property is damaged during its vacant period, you may not be covered.
You must tell your buildings insurance provider that your property will soon become vacant as this is a significant change in occupation. This significant change in occupation also comes with a much higher risk of damage done to the property, and may therefore require alterations to your policy that will often result in a more expensive premium.
Although this will lead to an increase on the insurance premium for your property, it is an unavoidable requirement, that will ensure that the value of your property is better protected against any damages and better covered by your insurance provider. Some alterations to your insurance policy to expect when changing your property’s status to vacant include the following:
- Any and all openings to the property must be properly secured – this includes locking all doors and windows, and sealing the letterbox
- All waste removed from the property
- The property must be inspected every set period of time (variable on both the insurance provider and the situation).
- All utilities must be turned off and/or decommissioned; dependent upon how long you plan to keep the property vacant (more information about utilities decommissioning)
The new alterations for your vacant property will entirely depend on the insurance provider and the unique features of your property and insurance policy. As well as informing your insurance provider on the status of your property’s occupancy, there are a few other very effective methods that can help you to protect your property during its period of vacancy.
Install a Vacant Property CCTV System
Installing CCTV in and around the premises of your vacant property is an often-effective way to both deter and identify any intruders. This will give you a better chance at capturing any thieves or vandals and increase your chances at getting back any compensation for the damages done.
Secure Site offers the most advanced equipment in temporary alarm systems: Videoguard. This system works 24 hours a day, and uses motion detection technology combined with infra-red illumination, to capture movement in and around the vacant property in question.
Clearance of Combustible and Hazardous Waste
Making sure that all potentially combustible waste is cleared from the vacant property can be another easy and effective way to secure it from any damages. Combustible waste clearance can help to significantly minimise the risk of your vacant property from catching fire, which, due to the nature of its vacancy, could lead to considerable damage and destruction of the property. This type of preparation for a vacant property is also usually required for insurance purposes too.
Vacant Property Inspections
Another common requirement for insurance cover for your vacant property, getting vacant property inspections for your vacant property can greatly improve its protection and security. Undertaking inspections typically provides weekly visits and check-ups for your property.
In addition to this, we can also act as your key-holders, and can escort any approved visitors wanting to view the property in question. To see more of what Secure Site’s vacant property inspections have to offer, please visit this page.
Dependent upon now long you are intending to leave your property vacant for, your insurance provider will require a property to be decommissioned if unoccupied for 28 to 30 days. What this means is that in order to adhere to your vacant property insurance policy, and further be covered for any damages done during this period of vacancy, the premises must be stripped of such features as its electricity, gas, water supply.