I don’t know about you, but Christmas is that time of year where to-do lists are a life saver! So much to organise – presents to buy, food to prepare, parties to throw! Many people will be packing up and leaving their homes for the Christmas period, so if that’s you, there are some important things to bear in mind for before you up and leave to help keep your home and its contents safe. Graham King from our residential property management department has given us some simple & helpful tips to enable us to keep on top of things before we leave.
First and foremost make sure your home is secure – check all locks and windows to the home and garage and make sure they are in good working order.
Don’t forget about insurance. You may already have home insurance, but if you are leaving your home for a long time be aware that most insurers will not cover your property if left unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days, some no more than 30 days. If you are living in a rented property, it would be sensible to inform your agent if you are planning to leave it vacant for anything over 28 days. You can obtain Vacant Property Insurance which will fully cover the building if it’s to be left unattended for more than 28 days (this is not covered under normal household insurance.).
Make sure your home looks lived in; one effective way of doing this is by installing timer switches for the lights which could potentially deter any burglars. There are several apps nowadays where you can control your lighting/heating remotely.
Be sure to turn off your cold water supply – if freezing weather is expected, you really don’t want to come back to burst pipes!
Take out your rubbish and food waste – not pleasant coming home to a smelly fridge and mouldy food!
Where possible, ask a friend or neighbour to pick up your post while you’re away – this again is a security measure, piles of post building up by the front door is an obvious sign that no-one is in.
Set your heating to a frost or holiday setting to reduce energy consumption.
If you are travelling abroad, make sure you advise your bank of your trip so they don’t block any unexpected overseas transactions.