Stark statistics show that there are more than 635,000 empty homes in England with about 200,000 of these standing empty for more than six months.
A report in the Mirror indicates that there are nearly 61,000 households in temporary accommodation which equates to 10 empty homes for every homeless family in England. Although that is a perhaps a little simplistic as some of these houses are on the market or are between tenants, it still leaves many properties lying empty when they could be making money for their owners.
Indeed, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t leave your home empty.
Damage or vandalism
If a property is left empty for any length of time without being checked, it could become damp or damaged through leaking pipes or faulty electrical systems. Homes need to be aired regularly with the heating put on in the cold weather to prevent pipes from freezing up or the fabric of the property suffering problems with damp or mould.
An empty home could also attract vandals who may deface the walls or break windows. Even worse, squatters could move in who may also damage the property and you could face a lengthy and expensive court case to evict them.
Weather the storm
The fierce storms and gale-force winds which have battered parts of Britain in the past few months could also cause considerable damage to a property which is lying empty. The roof could require repair or the home may be flooded in inclement weather, which would be extremely costly to put right. These issues are exacerbated if the property owner is unaware of the issue for a few weeks or more. In this situation, the problem will only get worse if there is further rain, snow or high winds.
Lack of care and attention
Homes need to be looked after in order to get the best out of them and to prevent possible devaluation of the property because of any remedial work required. It is far wiser to keep a property in a good state of repair than to face a substantial bill to put right any problems caused by neglect.
What is the solution?
If you have a property which you know is going to be empty for some time, it makes sense to put it on the rental market and earn an income. A property management company can do all the work for you. You could even become a landlord yourself, with specialist property inventory and inspection software assisting you in managing the process of letting your home.