Securing an Empty Property

Where the person who has died has left a property which is now unoccupied, it is important that you take the appropriate steps to secure this. This will include things such as making sure there is adequate insurance allowing for vacant periods and where appropriate changing locks, draining down the water supply and keeping the property well maintained. If anything were to happen to the property and you hadn't taken the steps to secure it, then you could well find yourself personally liable and at risk of having to pay for any damages, repairs or lost property out of your own pocket.

If the intention is to sell the house, then you can place it on the market straightaway, however, you will not be able to complete on the sale until you have obtained the correct legal documents. 

Sadly, vacant properties are at risk of being broken into and as such it is important to take the following steps to help safeguard against this.

  • Make sure you cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk and newspapers

  • Arrange for the property to be cleared of furniture and belongings as soon as is possible

  • Rearrange for the post to be redirected with Royal Mail

  • Visit the property frequently and consider installing timers to work the lights to give a 'present feel' to the property

  • Take the necessary steps to stop direct mail / junk mail, this can often be achieved online. However, ensure that you use a reputable company and not one that will sell your data

  • Remove any valuable items from the property and keep in safekeeping

  • If the person who has died owned a car, then the car insurance becomes invalid and it is important to notify the insurers as soon as possible.