Posted on September 23, 2016
A landlord will not want one of their residential properties to remain empty for long for the simple fact that an empty house costs them money. However, there are likely to be periods in between tenancies where a house may be unoccupied. This period can stretch from weeks into months, and during this time it is important that the property isn’t forgotten and that basic property maintenance is still carried out. At the very least, a landlord (or someone acting on behalf of the landlord) should visit monthly to ensure that everything is in order. Carrying out a few of these basic tasks is also a good way to keep the property maintained while saving money.
Take prompt meter readings after the last tenant moves out, remembering to take them once again before a new tenant moves in. While the property is empty the landlord is responsible for any utility charges and you only want to be billed for what you have used. Ensuring that gas and electrical appliances are turned off is also a good way to reduce costs and maintain good fire safety practices.
If a property is set to be empty over winter, then it is a good idea to turn the heating on now and then. This reduces the risk of the pipes freezing and consequently bursting – a hugely damaging and expensive problem to fix.
This is an ideal time to carry out any essential repairs or freshen the property up with a lick of paint. Not only does it keep the house well maintained but it could make it more attractive to prospective new tenants.
Increasing security on an empty property is wise. If it looks empty it might attract intruders or vandals. Consider installing timers or motion activated lighting along with a reliable burglar alarm. If you have trusted contacts in the area, then ask them to keep an eye on the house until it is inhabited again.