Never leave your home vacant for an extended period of time. Make sure someone is checking on the home to make sure that everything is secure. There are so many things that can go wrong while a home is vacant. You can avoid or at least decrease the damage done while you are away. Animals can get in, the power might go off, pipes could freeze or someone might break in while you are away. While checking on the home is not going to stop these things from happening, at least you will control the amount of damage from that may occur afterwords. Assume a windstorm breaks a window, or the power goes off, or there is a pipe break. Any of these situations, if left for any length of time can do considerable damage to your home. A Check List for Vacant Home Watch is worth following to increase the odds of your homes protection while away.
Will the Insurance Company Pay
You might think that there is no problem, the insurance will may. They might and then again they might not. turns out that many home insurance companies have clauses in their policies that require someone to check on a home on a regular interval when it is vacant. If you do not follow this requirement or cannot prove someone was checking on the home, they may decline your claim for damages. Some require a visit to your home every 24 hours if it is winter time and the water is not turned off. Others are satisfied with once a week if the water is turned off and there is no danger of freezing weather. check with yours before you head off on vacation.
Hire a House Sitter
Hiring a house sitter does not mean that someone moves into your home. Instead they will visit your home on the schedule you require and provide you with a report and / or record of each visit. At the minimum, they should confirm the security of the home, the furnace is operating properly and that the water is not leaking anywhere. In addition they might water plants for you and bring in th email. Discuss any special requests with them and make sure everything is documented.
Your Check List for Vacant Home Watch
Whether you are selling and have moved to another home while your old home sells or are just away on an extended vacation, there is a checklist of things that you may consider before you leave to help ensure that your home is secure. apply those that make sense for you in your neighborhood and your home:
- Check with your insurance company concerning requirements
- Ensure that your home looks as if someone is living in it
- Have someone collect the mail
- Make sure the lawn and gardens are maintained
- Make sure the snow is cleared in the winter
- Have several lights on timers ( they should follow your normal routine)
- Advise your neighbors that you are away
- Give your trusted neighbors your phone number
- Have a trusted person check on the home on a regular basis
- They should be able to contact you in case of emergency
- They should have authority to make minor emergency repairs
As we mentioned earlier these steps may not prevent an incident in your vacant home, they should minimize the damage. Making your home look as if it is lived in when it is vacant, will help to ensure that it does not become a candidate for a break in while it is vacant.
Property Management Companies
Many property management companies will provide this service for a reasonable price if you are not able to find a friend, a family member or a neighbor to look after your home while it is vacant. Always have a contract that specifies the services they will offer and also include the specific things you need them to do while you are away. If it is not written down, there is a good chance someone will forget leading to a big disappointment when you return.
We have a number of other posts that provide a more detailed checklist of steps to follow while you are away on vacation. Check out our post ” Home Security Checklist ” for a more detailed list of items.
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