Hi, it’s Phil from Sunshine. Again, as we’re in winter I’d like to talk to you about empty properties. It is very important that if a tenant is to go away from a property, or you have a property that is vacant and a void, and not actually tenanted, that you do two things. Firstly, you arrange for someone or yourself to check the property, and that if it’s over 14 days you let the insurance company know so they can’t then void a claim at a later date.
It is important if a property is left that one of two things happens regarding the central heating. It is either left on a very low setting, some boilers actually have a frost setting to make sure there is ambient temperature throughout the property so no freezing of pipes will occur. Or, if you’re uncertain or you do not want to have the cost, then the actual whole system needs to be drained out to make sure it is safe.
We have had circumstances in the past where this has not happened and the property from top to bottom has been flooded, with new carpets, new decoration, et cetera, and it is not a pleasant experience in the middle of winter, and it’s very costly. If the insurance company discover for any reason that you are the guilty party, they will instantly void your claim, which again is something you do not want to have to endure.
It’s important you appoint a contact so that someone else, if you’re away, can actually get in to see the property, or can be there if the tenants from a distance are told that there’s a problem, so that they are then aware what to do, and who to contact from there on.