Tips to keep your unoccupied property in top condition
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How can I keep my empty property in a good condition?
1. Maintain the interior
2. Maintain the exterior
3. Implement theft deterrents
5. Keep the garden maintained.
Your property can be unoccupied for a number of reasons. You might have inherited it, or you might have become an executor due to relatives moving into a care home. You could have moved away and been awaiting a sale, or you may be a landlord between tenants.
Whatever the reason, it is imperative that you maintain the upkeep of your property. The saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”, but this could be an expensive mistake to make in the long run. With this in mind, Just Landlords, the specialist Landlord Insurance providers, have collated their tips for keeping your unoccupied property in top condition:
Don’t let your property become rundown due to neglect. Certain simple steps can be taken to ensure that everything stays in working condition until it is lived in again.
Especially during cold weather, in order to help prevent the pipes in a vacant property from freezing the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering advise leaving the thermostat set low- at least to 5°C.
It can be all too easy to lock up and leave the property as it is, but we’d also advise staying on top of the cleaning. The more regular you dust, the easier a job it will be and will prevent any lasting stains occurring from the build-up of grime.
Don’t forget to keep up with the maintenance of the boiler and heater systems, as they should be serviced annually. This can help to prevent a last-minute rush for landlords looking to move in their next tenants.
Keep an eye on the gutters. A build-up of moss and leaves can be a pain to get out and can cause blockages to the drainage system of the house.
Cleaning the windows would also be in your best interest as far as any property viewings are concerned. Having a smart appearance on the outside is just as important, as first impressions really do matter.
We also suggest that you keep a lookout for Japanese knotweed. This plant is known to cause issues for homeowners when it grows too close to a building and ends up causing serious damage to the building itself. Identifying it and properly removing it immediately can save you from a lot of stress and expenses later on.
Being proactive could prevent a burglary from taking place. Think about the tell-tale signs of an empty house. Is there a car on the drive? Are there any lights on? Are the curtains drawn?
If you are friendly with any nearby neighbours, invite them to use your drive. Simply having a car parked outside the house can make it look occupied.
If you can visit the property regularly, consider stopping by to turn lights on and off. Having lights on in different rooms could help to convince potential burglars that someone is there. Alternatively, if the property has access to the Internet, you can get Smart LED bulbs that connect to the Wi-Fi and allow you to control them from your phone. The set up of such a system would cost you initially, but in the long run, it could be more convenient.
Also, keeping an eye on your locks can be a good idea. Check for signs of attempted break-ins, so that you can get any damaged locks replaced as soon as possible.
A Fresh Outlook
Another idea is to take this opportunity to do some renovations. Whether you are a landlord between tenants or looking to eventually sell, you can increase interest and the value of the property.
Choose a new colour scheme for each room and start by repainting the walls. Don’t forget skirting boards, doors and doorframes. You have the choice of whether or not to leave the house furnished for the sake of property viewings. Leaving the rooms empty can help make the place feel more spacious, yet careful arrangement of minimalistic pieces of furniture would show off its potential.
If it does suit your situation to furnish the house, pay attention to style and design and try to keep it matching.
The outside areas can be equally as important when showing potential buyers or renters around your property.
Prune back any branches and hedges to make a neat border around the edge of the garden. If you have grass, give it a neat trim, and if you have gravel or paving slabs of some sort, be sure to pull up any weeds between the gaps. The same goes for around the house itself and on the driveway.
If any slabs are beginning to look a bit grimy, a blast with a pressure hose can make them look clean and welcoming.
Do you have any flowerbeds? You don’t have to go overboard, but neatening them up by pulling out plants that have seen better days will make your outdoor area appear more inviting.
Overall, by keeping on top of such maintenance, both inside and out, you will have less work to do than if you leave it until the last moment when it can’t wait any longer. So, do yourself a favour, and make sure you stay on top of all the little tasks before they turn into a massive chore!Back to all articles
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