As the holiday season comes to an end, prudent holiday homeowners should be preparing their second homes for the winter
- Turn off the utilities: If you don’t need to leave any heat on, electricity, water and gas can all be turned off. If however you do have a heating system, set the temperature to at least 12 degrees Celsius and unplug all electronic devices.
- Winterise the home’s pipes and exterior: Make sure all the waterlines are drained and the pipes are properly insulated. Inspect the seals around windows and doors for any leaks, and have the gutters inspected and cleaned.
- Lock up valuables: Perform maintenance on vehicles before securely locking them away. Additionally, store any valuables away from windows.
- Schedule lawn maintenance: Have any nearby trees trimmed, any garden tools securely stored and the lawn mowed.
- Activate security devices: Make sure the home is fitted with security devices such as alarms and window locks to deter theft. Remember, if you are using an alarm system you’ll need to leave the electricity on!
See our post on Regular Checks for more information.
Holiday Home Insurance
Make sure you have the right holiday home insurance. Most ordinary house insurance policies do not include cover for holiday homes and deem them as too risky, since owners leave the property unattended for months at a time, exposing them to theft, damage, potential loss of rental income and more.
Holiday home insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding (which is not the same as the market value) and cover the specific ways in which you use the property, such as letting it to holiday makers/tenants. Make sure your bespoke holiday home insurance includes the following:
- Building insurance: In addition to the main property, this provides cover for outbuildings, swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.
- Contents insurance: This provides cover for the personal effects of your home.
- Liability cover: This provides cover in the event that a guest, gardener or holiday maker/tenant is injured on the property.