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Chris Baxter - Alan & Thomas Insurance - Make sure your unoccupied property is protected

Make sure your unoccupied property is protected

Not only is the current economic climate causing businesses to struggle, it's also led to an increase in vacant buildings – the last thing property owners want – and lack of rental income, although the biggest issue, is not the only cause for concern, reports Chris Baxter, property insurance expert at Alan & Thomas.

In the UK, the number of vacant shops has risen to an all time high of 14.5 percent (survey by the Local Data Company) and, according to the Empty Homes Agency, there are currently over 700,000 homes standing vacant despite a major housing shortage. The most recent RICS UK Commercial Market Survey has also demonstrated that the number of unoccupied commercial properties is continuing to grow.

"Property can remain unoccupied for a number of reasons – awaiting or stalled renovation, lack of interest and failed businesses – and it's these properties that can cause the most problems. However, there are ways in which owners can mitigate the risks and protect their assets".

In order to comply with health and safety, duty of care and building insurance requirements, it is critical that property managers carefully manage buildings and legal issues that surface when buildings become vacant.

"When a property becomes unoccupied for more than 30 days, the insurance cover usually becomes incomplete and specialist unoccupied property insurance needs to be in place. It's at these times when the level of risk becomes greater through vandalism, squatting and general security issues, so having the right insurance policy in place is critical, advises Chris, head of the Property Owners division at Alan & Thomas.

Alan & Thomas are leading insurance specialists in the South and have a specialist Property Owners division who deal exclusively in insurance for both individuals and groups who own property for commercial reasons. As an independent broker, they can secure extremely competitive premiums from the UK's leading insurers and have a bespoke insurance product for unoccupied properties that can be tailored to the individual needs of the property and owner.

For more information or a free review of your current insurance arrangements, please contact Chris Baxter on 01202 754936 or by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.