This week, we are carrying on our e-work by engaging landlords/ladies with the topic of coronavirus-led unoccupied and vacant properties.
Indeed, the coronavirus has put a halt on some aspects of residential private property lettings, particularly moving in and out. This has led to a relative increase in the stock of unoccupied or vacant properties.
As a ripple effect of coronavirus, many landlords/ladies may have found themselves with wholly or partially unoccupied or vacant properties since there is rental fallout between the two sides of the rental market (supply and demand).
Before going any further in this post, let us clarify the meaning of what we are talking about.
What is the difference between vacant property and unoccupied property?
The law defines the term “vacant” as meaning “completely empty”. This means that there are no people and no personal items within the property. This is typical of an empty unfurnished rental property, waiting to be let. Whilst the term “unoccupied” should be used to describe a property which contains possessions as if the residents were to return at any time.
Coronavirus-led unoccupied properties can happen for various reasons like the following:
• Tenants are away to provide childcare support for families or friends because of the coronavirus social pressure
• Tenants could be hospitalised with COVID-19
• Tenants may leave your property to look after a parent or family member who is classified as COVID-19 vulnerable person.
For all these sorts of reasons a property could become vacant or unoccupied at this time of COVID-19 mutation and second lockdown.
In these circumstances, some landlords/ladies may be asking what they do in such market conditions.
Other landlords/ladies who are better equipped and informed may have been advised by their letting and/or managing agents what to do.
Other ones who do not have the necessary information to handle the situation may need some forms of support.
This week, Home Relief will be trying to e-work with those landlords/ladies who do not still know what to do and those who are under informed to find out the possible answers to vacant properties as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown last. This e-work will be from the perspective of prevention than a cure to the problem posed by unoccupied or vacant properties.
Areas to be covered during this week’s e-work
Our distance working session will help landlords/ladies to tackle the following issues:
√ Inspections in a coronavirus-secure and safe environment
√ Upkeep of the property
√ Security and safety of unoccupied or vacant properties
√ Inside property maintenance
√ Alternative uses of your property as a way of re-purposing property assets within your portfolio
√ Checks about insurance cover as it could be different depending on whether the property is unoccupied or vacant
√ Communication with tenants to check your property is occupied and safe
√ Prevention and management of damages and losses (in case of theft, squatters, vandalism, etc.)
At the end of this week’s e-work, landlords/ladies will be in a position to take all the necessary and reasonable measures to protect their rental investment during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.
We are as well going to share online resources regarding vacant or unoccupied properties. These resources will be both from the residential private property sector and the UK Government’s guidance relating to property maintenance during the Covid-19 national emergency.
Additionally, landlords/ladies will have the opportunity to raise issues related to their individual property cases as the e-session will be customised.
Need to know more about what to do with unoccupied or vacant properties, please e-work with Home Relief.
If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.