Under the terms of the tenancy before leaving the property empty or unoccupied for any continuous period in excess of 14 days the tenant agrees to provide the landlord or his agent (Full Management properties) reasonable notice and to fully co-operate and comply (and bear the fair cost of such compliance) with any reasonable requirements or conditions relating to the security or safety of the Property and its contents (if any) whilst being left empty or unoccupied.

Things to Consider

  • Check what your tenancy agreement requires you to do when leaving the property unoccupied for extended periods. Most agreements will require a tenant to take adequate measures to protect the property from issues like frozen pipes in cold weather.
  • Arrange for someone to have a key to the property while you are away and ask them to periodically check the property for leaks or any breaches of security. This will speed up access to the property in the event of something occurring like a leak and is particularly important in flats, where an issue in one unit could rapidly cause problems for other units in the block.
  • Share an emergency contact phone number with neighbours if something goes wrong – either your number or a key holder if there is one.
  • If you have a garden to maintain, make arrangements for someone to maintain the garden in your absence.

During Cold Weather

  • If you are planning extended periods away during cold weather leave the heating on at a low level to provide a background heat. This will ensure pipes do not freeze and helps to prevent internal damp spreading within the property.
  • If you have a loft with a water tank or any water carrying pipework, leave the hatch open to allow warmer air to circulate around the loft.
  • Pour salt down sinks and bath and shower drains to help prevent freezing.
  • Turn off the water supply to any outside taps.
  • If you intend to leave your house unoccupied for more than a few days you may want to consider turning off the water supply and draining the heating system. If this is your preferred course of action you are likely to need a qualified tradesman to do this. Some insurance policies require this.

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