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UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Old Nov 22nd 2016, 1:58 pm
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Default UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

I hope in 2017 to live outside the UK for up to 5 months in a year. For 3 months and for 2 months later in the year. However, I want to keep my UK house in case of an emergency. I own the UK house.

The question is of house insurance. I presently have insurance but if I leave my house unoccupied for over 30 days, the insurance is invalidated.

I am told my my house insurance company there are other policies that cover the house if it is unoccupied for 60 days and 90 days.

Can anyone propose one of these policies for me as a best buy?

The other issue is this. When I temporarily return to my UK house, do I then have to live in it for let's say a month before my insurance is valid?
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

We bought a house in UK earlier this year, intending to use it only during the hot summer months. No problem insuring it as a second home, unoccupied for up to 365 days a year (Although you can set the period). The only stipulation by our insurer was that it had to be checked weekly. We left the heating on low for the winter months and a friend popped in once a week. When we took up residence, we told the insurer we were using it. We have now done a 6 month let, and changed to a landlord policy. When that is over, we have to inform the company and it will revert to 2nd home. The only fly in the ointment is tht each time we change, there is an admin fee! The company is Home Protect.
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Thanks for this.

There is also the issue of Council Tax. My understanding is that there is no provision for paying it part of the year for only when the house is actually occupied. You have to pay for the full 12 months, even if it is unoccupied for several months in a year. Indeed, if the house is unoccupied for a long time, it could be classed an an "empty home" and subject to some sort of action by the council.

And the utilities (gas and electricity) will still have to be paid, or at least the standing charges have to be paid, regardless of whether the house is occupied or not.

Have I got this right?
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Originally Posted by ukthesis View Post

The other issue is this. When I temporarily return to my UK house, do I then have to live in it for let's say a month before my insurance is valid?
I doubt it, but only your insurer can answer this because it will depend on the terms of the policy.
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Originally Posted by irismary View Post
We bought a house in UK earlier this year, intending to use it only during the hot summer months. No problem insuring it as a second home, unoccupied for up to 365 days a year (Although you can set the period). The only stipulation by our insurer was that it had to be checked weekly. We left the heating on low for the winter months and a friend popped in once a week. ....
I would also recommend turning the water off, and possibly even draining the water tank(s). You should also cover the toilet with clingfilm to reduce evaporation from the U-bend, and if you're away during the summer, pour a little oil (vegetable/mineral/olive, etc.), say a teaspoonful, down each sink, shower, bath drain for the same reason, to reduce water evaporation and stop sewer gas coming back into the house.
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Yes, we had to pay council tax etc. We did this by direct debit monthly. Our tenant now pays these bills, but as soon as the let finishes I have to inform the relevant offices, and the direct debits will be reactivated.
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Old Nov 22nd 2016, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

I looked around, and found a utilities supplier that (they say) charge a lower than average standing charge. So although leaving the house unoccupied will incur this charge, it could be worse.

I believe in the case of my telephone and internet supplier (Virgin) they can revert me to their "basic" service for the time I am away. I just need to tell them. It's not a disconnection, of course, but this should also keep the bills low.
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 9:13 am
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Originally Posted by ukthesis View Post
I looked around, and found a utilities supplier that (they say) charge a lower than average standing charge. So although leaving the house unoccupied will incur this charge, it could be worse.

I believe in the case of my telephone and internet supplier (Virgin) they can revert me to their "basic" service for the time I am away. I just need to tell them. It's not a disconnection, of course, but this should also keep the bills low.
I would look around again - standing charges are a thing of the past for many utility suppliers these days.
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Just get a friend or one of your children/grandchildren if you have any, and it's not too inconvenient to reside at your house 1 night in every 30 days. I would suggest the 30th night and the 1st night of each 30 day period. As the fulfills the criteria for you insurance company.
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

If you know of a utilities company that does not levy a standing charge, can you please let me know?

Returning to the UK each month for a day or two to satisfy an insurance company, isn't realistic. The plane flights' cost alone would be substantial, if there was nothing else I wanted to return for except this.
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Originally Posted by ukthesis View Post
If you know of a utilities company that does not levy a standing charge, can you please let me know?

Returning to the UK each month for a day or two to satisfy an insurance company, isn't realistic. The plane flights' cost alone would be substantial, if there was nothing else I wanted to return for except this.
No-one was suggesting that you return each month!
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: UK house insurance - unoccupied for up to 5 months in a year

Originally Posted by lic View Post
Just get a friend or one of your children/grandchildren if you have any, and it's not too inconvenient to reside at your house 1 night in every 30 days. I would suggest the 30th night and the 1st night of each 30 day period. As the fulfills the criteria for you insurance company.
There are no fixed 30 day periods, it's just 30 consecutive days. To meet the requirements every fourth weekend would likely be more practical, and would be demonstrably less than 30 days.
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