What’s an empty property?
- The property owners couldn’t sell before immigrating
- A large refurbishment is underway
- It’s an inherited property and the owner lives in their own home
- It’s an inherited property and Probate has not been granted
- The property is caught in a legal dispute
- The owner doesn’t have the money to carry out work required to make the house livable,
- The elderly homeowner is in a care home
Do you have to pay council tax on an empty property?
Empty properties are liable for the same council tax as occupied properties in most cases. In fact, if your property is empty for over two years, some councils will DOUBLE the rate as a deterrent.
What should I do if I have an empty property?
There’s an awful lot to consider if you own a property which is going to be empty for a while. Keeping your property secure is the first thing to tackle.
Empty property security
Let a neighbour park on your drive
Re-Direct your mail
Ensure the garden is maintained
Put a timer on the lights
Another really cost-effective way of securing your empty property is to try and make it looked ‘lived-in’ by using lights on timers which are set to come on and off at various points during the day.
Other ways to secure your empty property.
Here Joanne discusses the new trend for live-in guardians; a short term tenant who will deter squatters and vandals, whilst also bringing you an income on the property.
We particularly like this company who work with volunteers in a real community-centred guardian programme. What great work!
Empty property insurance
Even if you have insurance on your empty property, it’s important to get this bit right. Most insurers consider a property empty if it’s unoccupied for 30 days or more, meaning a claim after the 30 days could be deemed void if it’s only covered by the standard insurance.
You should look for specialist insurance if the home will be empty for a longer period of time, with F.L.E.A cover.
Ensure you check the terms, as some insurers request that the Gas, Electricity and Water are all disconnected in order to insure an empty property.
What is F.L.E.A insurance?
FLEA cover stands for FIRE, LIGHTNING, EXPLOSION, EARTHQUAKE and AIRCRAFT, and is a specialist insurance cover for empty properties.
If you are covered for FLEA only, nothing else will be covered. BUT, you will have some peace of mind for natural disasters.