Redstones Property Management

Landlord Essentials : 7 Tips For Managing Your Empty Property

As a landlord there may be times when you find yourself in possession of a vacant property following the departure of a tenant. While it is not an ideal situation, there are a number of steps you can take to minimise your costs and ensure your property is secure until your next tenant arrives:-

Visit regularly : A number of signs advertise the fact that your property is empty including piles of unopened mail lying by the front door, a house in darkness and an overgrown garden, to name a few. Install electronic timers to switch your lights on at pre-set times and ensure all burglar alarms are working.  It is also advisable to check that bins are both empty and clean for security and hygiene reasons.

Inform your insurers : If your property is likely to be unoccupied for a number of weeks, keep your insurance company fully informed in case of any problems with break-ins or burst pipes. Comply fully with the requirements of your insurance policy, for example, make sure windows are locked and alarms are set. For property owners unhappy with their current insurance providers, Redstones Financial offers a range of independent financial services including house insurance for landlords.

Inform the council : Once the tenants have left a property, landlords become responsible for the payment of council tax.  Properties that are empty and unfurnished may be eligible for a discount for a short period of time but this is at the discretion of the individual council.

Transfer responsibility for utility bills : As a landlord you are now responsible for the payment of all utility bills so it is essential to take meter readings on the day the tenant leaves and transfer the bills into your name.  Once a new tenant moves in, utility bills become their responsibility and a further meter reading will need to be taken.

Carry out repairs : While your property is empty it presents an ideal opportunity to carry out minor repairs and ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’ by carrying out checks on your boiler and smoke alarms for example. Our previous article ‘Is Your Property Ready For Winter?’ provides more advice on your obligations as a landlord.

Turn off appliances : To minimise costs, turn off all of your gas and electrical appliances, including fridge-freezers and switch off plug sockets. While we would also normally advise landlords to turn off hot water and heating timers, the heating should not be left off during winter. A cold spell will leave your property vulnerable to burst pipes if it is switched off for a lengthy period.

For landlords who are away over the festive period, leaving a vacant property unattended is a cause for concern.  Redstones offers a fully property management service which gives our customers peace of mind that their properties are monitored and checked on a regular basis.  With our extensive database we also work quickly to ensure your property is occupied quickly following the departure of a tenant.

Contact us today to discuss the most suitable solution for your property management.