Going away for more than 30 days? Why your rented home won’t be insured

Going away for more than 30 days? Why your rented home won’t be insured
30th October 2023

One of the conditions of your landlord’s insurance is likely to be that the property must not be left unoccupied for more than 30 days – and possibly less than that during the winter months. This is because a vacant property is at increased risk of damage from:

  • Burglary and vandalism
  • Squatters
  • Natural events, such as storms and floods
  • Fire
  • Burst pipes

As such, there is likely to be a clause in your tenancy agreement that specifies you must let your landlord know if you are going to be away for an extended period of time. For instance, in the Government’s model tenancy agreement, it states:

5.1 The Tenant must not leave the Property unoccupied for more than 28 consecutive days without giving notice in writing to the Landlord.

  • The Tenant must take reasonable steps to ensure that the Property is secure whenever the Property is unoccupied.

And because even minor repair issues can get out of hand if there’s nobody to spot them, it’s worth letting your landlord know as a courtesy if you’re going to be away for more than 10 days or so, particularly in winter when the weather can cause problems.

If you have contents insurance, you will probably also need to inform your own insurer if you’re going to be away from the property for more than 30 days – check the terms of your policy for details.


Unoccupied property insurance

Some insurers offer ‘unoccupied property insurance’ for properties that are vacant for more than 30 days at a time. This is more expensive than a standard policy, to reflect the increased risk, but it’s worth considering to ensure the property and its contents are covered in case something goes wrong.

Steps to take if you’re going away for 30 days or more

  1. Inform your landlord or letting agent, in writing. Check your tenancy agreement for details of your obligations, as you may need to give notice for a period of less than 30 days.
  2. If you have tenant insurance, contact your provider.
  3. Turn off the water at the main stopcock and leave a tap running to drain down the system, to avoid the risk of burst pipes.
  4. Unplug electrical items that don’t require constant power (e.g. televisions, computers, chargers) to minimise the risk of an electrical fire.
  5. Ensure all windows and doors are securely closed and locked, where possible.

You may also want to set a couple of lamps on timers, to give the impression that there is still someone in the property after dark and deter potential intruders.

If you would like to discuss appropriate cover for you and your contents, you can call our team of insurance specialists on 01903 890044, or email info@bodeinsurancesolutions.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.

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