As a landlord, it can be difficult to know what you need to do and what you can do when your property is left vacant for an extended period of time. Perhaps your tenant has plans to go away travelling for a while longer than a typical short holiday, or maybe there is a longer than anticipated period of time between one tenant moving out and a new tenant moving in.
In this article, we share some of the things you might want to check when your property is left empty for an extended length of time. A lot will depend on the circumstances and whether the property is currently being let out to a tenant or not. If the property is occupied, it’s advisable to recheck the tenancy agreement to see what rights you have as a landlord in terms of checking the property.
You may find that working with a company offering property management services can help to alleviate some of the stress that comes with being a landlord. Alternatively, create your own checklist and be sure to ask tenants to let you know when they will be away from the property, so that you can make the necessary checks (with their permission).
Check your landlord insurance
Did you know that your landlord insurance policy likely has a clause in it which details exactly how long your insurance remains in place for an empty property? In most cases this extends up to 30 days which will cover the average holiday, however it is worth checking your insurance to see how any claims will work on an uninhabited property. If necessary, or if you know your tenants will be away for longer than the time outlined in your policy, you may find you need to extend it accordingly.
Maintenance work and upgrades
If your tenant is away on holiday for a while, it can create the perfect time to go in and complete any pending maintenance work and upgrades – preventing such work from interfering with their day to day lives and leaving workers free to conduct work within their ideal timeframe rather than that of the tenant. Have a chat with your tenant before they go away to let them know of your plans. This may also remind them to mention any additional areas of work which might need to be completed that you may not already be aware of.
If there has been a known leak within the property or a bout of seriously bad weather which may have damaged the property while your tenant is away, it makes sense to go ahead and inspect the property to ensure it has not been damaged or to figure out if it needs any emergency work to be undertaken.
As you can see, there are a multitude of reasons why visiting your property when it has been left empty for a while can be a good idea.
If you live far away from your investment property or lack the time to conduct such checks of your own, this is where the services of a property management company become extremely handy.
Ensuring the property is well maintained and secure gives peace of mind to not only the landlord, but the tenant as well.