Are you selling an unoccupied property?

As a property expert, I am often asked for advice on how best to present a property to sell. In the first of a series of monthly posts, I shall cover frequently asked questions and topics and share my top ‘hints and tips’

There are so many vacant properties on the market for varying reasons and I am keen to assist homeowners in selling and moving on

Why is your property unoccupied? This could be for extended period for work, or a holiday or for building work. Perhaps the resident has moved into another home for care, or because of probate

Insurance Your insurance provider must be notified of the amount of days your property is left unoccupied. Different insurers will have different requirements for unoccupied properties, depending on the reason (for sale, on holiday, building works or probate) and will change their cover levels at so, please check your policy. Perhaps it is prudent to compare policies to find one that suits you and is cost effective

There are some insurance policies, which state that the unoccupied property must be visited once a week to ensure there is nothing untoward and if something needs attention, then the homeowner can be notified directly

Utilities Should you turn off water, gas and electric? There is no reason to turn off the utilities for insurance reasons. It would be advisable to set the lights on a timer, to deter unwanted guests. Ideally, a minimum temperature should be maintained in the property at 15degrees Celsius/60degrees Fahrenheit between 01 October and 01 April inclusive. Check your policy covering water and if you are directed to turn the water off at the stopcock

And yes, council tax is payable Please check with your local Council, if you are eligible for a discount or a full exemption. You will need to advise the local Council to apply for the discount

If the property is under probate and you are selling it on behalf of the deceased, you will be exempt from Council tax charges for the first 6 months after you receive probate

How I can help you I offer a weekly property minding service, which includes running the taps; flushing the toilets; opening the windows; collecting and re-directing the post; arranging cleaning and gardening services if relevant and reporting any maintenance issues to the homeowner. This gives you the homeowner, ‘peace of mind’ that your investment is being looked after

Please share this with anyone who would benefit from these tips

Call 01483 479 500 to discuss how I can help you. Or, if you prefer to email or visit my website for further information and guidance

Next month, I will show you how to assess your current situation and explore solutions in preparing and presenting your home to sell

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