Properties can be unoccupied for a number of reasons. If it’s your main home, you might be away for an extended period for work or on holiday. A home may also be left empty if an elderly owner has moved into care or during probate. Properties are also often unoccupied if extensive building work is being carried out.

Many unoccupied properties are second homes, which have either been bought as rental properties or inherited. Buy-to-let properties may be empty because of ‘voids’ between tenants, or while undergoing renovation, and holiday homes may be vacant out of season. Inherited properties are frequently left empty while the new owner or owners decides what to do with them, particularly as this type of home may need renovation before it is suitable for rental.