With ever increasing energy prices owners of empty property are often quick to disconnect utility supply altogether, but switching everything off can be short sighted and throw up a number of problems.
Turning off electricity & gas in empty property
It can be tempting to turn off electric and gas supply to an empty property, especially as these utilities are likely to put you most out of pocket, but it’s important to think about the bigger picture for a number of reasons;
- During cold spells pipes can freeze and burst without heating.
- Risk of dampness, mould and rot rises with no heat.
- Contractors and tradespeople often need power for tools to carry out work or maintenance.
- Site visits and viewings can he hard with no lighting
- Most providers charge disconnection and reconnection fees.
- It can affect your insurance on the property.
Turning water off in an empty property
Escape of water claims are one of the most likely causes of damage when a property is unoccupied, but again switching everything off and draining down the water system can cause owners problems. There are often disconnection fees and it’s hard to carry out building and maintenance work if there is no running water in the property.
However, leaving stagnant water in pipes and toilets can pose a huge health risk (including exposure to the deadly legionnaires disease) and cause pipes to freeze and burst in cold weather. These can often go unnoticed for long periods in vacant property, resulting in expensive floods and water damage.
Finding a solution
One of the best solutions to both keep the property safe and to save money is appointing property guardians to come and secure and maintain the property while it is empty.
Fully vetted property guardians can move into most empty commercial and residential properties making sure it is protected round the clock. By living in the property they mitigate many of the risks of leaving a building vacant, ensuring the property is well maintained and cared for while in between uses.
Property Guardians are provided at zero cost to owners, and most properties can be turned into habitable spaces for guardians to live and thrive in. DEX’s in-house team can install temporary facilities at zero cost and in many cases utilities are paid by the guardians while they are caring for the property.
If you have property that is currently or soon to be vacant, contact us to find out how DEX can secure empty property through Property Guardians, reducing costs, risks and complexities associated with managing vacant properties.