Is your rental property covered for the holiday season?

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22 Jun 2018

Are you and your rental property covered for the holiday season?

Author: Richard O'Neill

With the holiday season about to start, this can mean additional risks for you and your rental property if your tenants are planning to go away.
 
From an insurance perspective, standard one or two-week breaks are not usually a problem. In fact, this can be a good time to carry out routine maintenance jobs – such as replacing carpets or decorating. This means they can be completed with minimal disruption to your tenants’ daily routine, ensuring they return from holiday to a home they want to stay in. If we are managing your let, we can organise any maintenance for you.
 
For longer absences, if you are using our contract, we ask tenants to notify ourselves if managing or the landlord before leaving the property empty for a period of three weeks or more.
 
Long periods of absence could actually invalidate your insurance so, if something goes wrong – such as a flood or burglary – your insurance company may not pay out.  In the run up to holiday season, it’s worth checking how long your property can be empty for from a cover perspective, according to your policy.
 
The good news is, if you have taken our own specialist landlord insurance policy, you will be covered for the tenant being away for up to 30 days. If you are worried at all, or don’t have our own policy, do contact us via our advice centre on 01344 987 508 or speak to the team at your local Romans office.
 
One of the key things for a property left empty long term is ensure tenants utilise all the security measures in the property, such as window locks or an alarm, so the property is safe while they’re away. This not only protects your property and investment but the tenant’s valuables, too.  Helpful measures such as installing timer switches on lamps, and if willing, asking neighbours to put out and return the wheelie bin on collection day, and switching off the water at the stop-tap (although this is not advisable for winter breaks, as leaving the heating on can help prevent frozen pipes) can reduce the chance of something happening while the tenant is away.

Another essential measure is to make sure the neighbours know the property is rented and they have contact details, in case of any problems; these could be ours if we manage the property or your own if you self-manage. 
 
Of course, even with good preparation, things can and do happen so good insurance is vital. Our Romans’ Emergency Repairs Service is worth considering if you don’t have it already to give you and your tenant extra peace of mind if the worst happens, this service covers you for up to £750 in call-out charges, labour and materials. 
 
Finally, if you are going on holiday yourself and we don’t manage the property for you, have you organised cover for while you are away? Your tenant won’t want to wait until you return and you don’t want to come home from a relaxing fortnight in the sun to face a list of maintenance requests. Ideally make sure they have someone else’s details and contact details to hand for trusted tradespeople.
 
If you’d like to find out more about ensuring your property is protected while you or your tenant are away, do call us on 01344 987 508 or email, phone or visit your local Romans office
 

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