Vacant Home Property ManagementVacant Home Property Management

We recently received an email from a client who was looking for someone to look after their home for a one year period. This person is with the armed forces and is being posted out of the country for a period of one year. They have obviously decided that they do not want to rent their home to someone while they are away and they also want to be able to return from time to time during vacation periods and other time periods. They need a number of services which we will discuss in this post.

Vacant Home Property Management Services

They are taking the right approach to ensure that their home is looked after while they are away. This is where vacant home property management comes in, regardless of whether you have a friend, a neighbor or a family member look after the home. There are two really important things to consider when you hire someone or ask a favor of someone. First you need to always check with your insurance company to ensure that you meet their requirements for monitoring while the home is vacant. Failure to have the home monitored adequately could void your home insurance and void any claim you might have while you are away. Each insurance company is different in their requirements. Some want the water turned off and they want someone to check on the home every day. While other insurance companies are ok as long as someone checks on the home at least once per week. We will touch on pricing in our next post, Charges for Vacant Home Management.

The second item to consider that is important is who you have look after your home while you are away. Regardless of who you have do this important task, they need to be dependable. They need to be able to always check your home according to the schedule you set and they need to be able to deliver a report to you after each visit. This is so important because if there is a claim to you insurance company, you will need to be able to confirm that someone was visiting the house according to the schedule they require. Hopefully there will be no situations that require the involvement of the insurance company etc, however these same people should also be able to deal with these situations under your direction.

Choose your home sitter or property manager carefully and not just on price alone. Price is important, however you really need to make sure that you have the services you need. Most professional companies will have a checklist that they will walk you through to confirm all details associated with management of your home. After all, your home is your most valuable possession as are the the things in it. Why would you take a chance with your most important possession.

What are Insurance Companies Concerned About

For most insurance companies the major worry is water damage from leaking pipes. If you live in a cold climate were the pipes could freeze you are going to need someone to check more often unless you drain the pipes and turn the water off. Of course they want the security of the home confirmed each time, but the big worry is whether the furnace is working and the temperature is high enough inside the home to avoid water freezing in the pipes. This is where a professional property management company can really help you. They should visit your home on a regular schedule defined by you and they should also provide you with a report confirming that someone from the property management firm visited the home and verified the security, the temperature inside the home and that there are no water leaks.

They are also concerned about break-ins, however there is not much you can do about this other than make sure that the home looks like it is lived in. Make sure that all newspapers and flyers are taken in every day and that the lawn is cut on a regular basis. These are dead give indicators to a vacant home. Some home owners will also arrange for lights on timers to come on at regular scheduled intervals in the rooms that you use. It makes no sense to have lights on in rooms that you do not use normally. Have the lights and timers in the rooms that you use and follow your regular schedule.

In our next post we will discuss Charges for Vacant Home Management. If you have comments on this post please leave them. We love to get comments that our readers will enjoy and find helpful.

 

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