It would be great if you could use your holiday home all year round but the chances are that as it’s in the UK it will be empty for more than a few weeks over the winter.
Therefore, it’s important your holiday home is safe and looked after during the colder months. If your home is going to be empty then you should be mindful of the impact of long term damage from issues such as burst water pipes. Holiday home let insurance, holiday home buildings insurance and holiday home contents insurance is essential to protect your vacant home between lets.
HomeProtect’s top 13 tips for looking after your holiday home in winter:
- Visit regularly. This can either be a paid agent, your cleaner or your neighbours – it pays to make the effort to get to know the locals. That way any damage can be spotted and remedied right away.
- Put some of the lights on a timer to put off any opportunistic burglars.
- Place valuable items like flat screen TVs out of sight.
- You could install security cameras, so you can keep an eye on your holiday home from the comfort of your main residence.
- Insulate pipes and storage cisterns. Basic lagging from any DIY store should do the trick.
- Low level heating coming on for a short period every day help prevent frozen pipes and also keep the walls from becoming damp.
- Alternatively, arrange for a plumber to drain the water from the pipes and heating system over the winter.
- Know where the stop cock is. There’s no excuse for not knowing this really, it’s an essential to turn the water off and is the first thing you do when water problems strike!
- Don’t let burglars know your house is empty by having a messy, overgrown garden. Something as simple as having the grass cut monthly can make all the difference.
- Before you close down for winter, gather contact details for local plumbers, electricians and builders.
- Keep a set of keys with someone local or in a coded safe box, so your workman can get into your property when they need to.
- Window locks, mortice locks on the doors and setting the alarm are great for reducing your premium but make sure that you remember to use them!
- A final point to bear in mind is that, although there may not be demand from holidaymakers for your holiday home in winter, you might be able to let it out on a long term let locally. Whilst you may not achieve the same kind of rents as you do in summer, someone will be looking after the house and as it’s occupied your insurance premium could be reduced.