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How Long Can I Leave My House Unoccupied

Last modified: Nov 04, 2022

Are you going to be out of town for a while and wondering, “how long can I leave my house unoccupied?” This article will give you all the answers you need regarding the safety of your home while you are on holiday. 

How Long Can a House Be Vacant for Insurance

In general, there are no limits to how long you may leave an uninhabited home vacant. However, most regular home insurance carriers will only cover a vacant property for 30 to 60 days.  

While some insurers will not provide coverage for an unoccupied home at all. The best way to find out how your insurer feels about vacant homes is to contact them directly and ask.    

There are several risks involved with leaving a house vacant for an extended period of time. One of the biggest risks is that the property could be vandalized or broken into. This is especially true if the property is located in an area with a high crime rate. 

Another risk involved in leaving a house vacant is that the property could suffer from water damage. This is especially true if the property is in an area prone to flooding. If the property floods, it could be very difficult to repair the damage and get insurance coverage for the repairs.

One of the best ways to protect a vacant house is to have someone check on it regularly. This can help to deter vandals and burglars, and it can also help to keep the property in good condition. It is also a good idea to install security systems, such as alarms and cameras, to help deter criminals.   

It is important to remember that even if your home is unoccupied, you are still responsible for it. This means that you must ensure that the property is properly maintained and that any repairs are made on time. If you do not take care of your vacant home, it could cost you a lot of money in the long run.

How to Minimize Risk if You Leave Your House Unoccupied

If you're planning on leaving your house unoccupied for an extended period of time, you can do a few things to minimize the risk.

Find a House Sitter

If you have a friend or family member who can stay at your house while you're away, it's ideal. Not only will having someone physically present help deter potential criminals, but they can also keep an eye on things and ensure everything is in order.

Use Timers for Lights 

Having some lights come on randomly will make it appear like someone is home, which can help deter criminals.   

Stop Mail and Newspaper Delivery 

If you have mail and newspapers piling up outside, it's a clear sign that no one is home. Arrange to have your mail held at the post office, and stop newspaper delivery while you're away.  

Keep Valuables Out of Sight

If you have valuable items (like jewelry) in plain view, it invites trouble. Make sure all valuables are out of sight before you leave.

Get Internal Security Locks

If you're going to be gone for a long time, it’s worth investing in internal security locks. This way, even if someone does manage to break into your home, they won't be able to access all the rooms.   

These are just a few things you can do to minimize risk if you leave your house unoccupied. Taking some simple precautions can help deter criminals and keep your home safe while you're away.

How Often Should Your House Be Checked When on Holiday

As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have your house checked at least once every three days when you're away. This will help ensure that potential problems are spotted and dealt with quickly. 

Of course, the frequency with which you have your house checked will depend on several factors, such as the length of your holiday, the location of your property, and whether or not you have pets that need to be looked after.

For example, if you're going to be leaving the house for three months, you may want to consider arranging for someone to check on your house more frequently. The most important thing is to ensure your home looks like it is not abandoned. This means taking care of the four most common issues:  

  • A garden that is not well-maintained.
  • Stop the mail delivery.
  • A vehicle that has not been moved, and so on.

As long as you take the time to plan and make sure all the necessary arrangements are in place, you can relax and enjoy your trip without having to worry about your property back home.

House Insurance for Unoccupied House

Most home insurance policies do not cover you if you abandon your home for a long time. Some policies stop covering you after 30 days, while others continue to cover you for 60 days. 

The important thing to remember is that you should know what your policy covers and read the small print to see how long you can leave your house without it being covered.   

Difference Between 'Unoccupied' and 'Vacant'

When it comes to insurance, there is a big difference between an unoccupied and a vacant home. An unoccupied home is not currently occupied by the owner or any tenants. On the other hand, a vacant home has been completely emptied of all furnishings and belongings.

The reason this distinction is important is that vacant homes are much more likely to be targeted by burglars and vandals. As such, they typically command higher insurance premiums than unoccupied homes. 

In reality, insurance companies are exposed to higher relative risk regarding vacant properties. Unoccupied home insurance claims are generally reported sooner than vacant property claims.

What's the Worst That Could Happen When Leaving a House Vacant?    

There are several potential risks associated with leaving a house vacant for an extended period. These risks can include damage to the property, theft, and even squatters.

One of the most common problems faced by owners who leave their properties vacant is vandalism. This can range from small-scale damage, such as graffiti or broken windows, to more serious destruction, such as fires. 

In some cases, squatters may even move into a vacant property and refuse to leave, which can be a nightmare for the owner. Fortunately, some steps can be taken to help reduce these risks.

  • Home inventory: This will help you keep track of what items are inside the property and make it easier to file an insurance claim if something is stolen or damaged.
  • Home insurance inspection: An insurance company may require an inspection of the property before providing coverage, which can help identify any potential risks.

Taking these precautions can help protect your property from the worst that could happen while it is vacant.

Bottom line

So the difference between leaving your house unoccupied and vacant, here in this article, we cleared both situations and how to mitigate any risk involved in leaving your home for the period. And take time to determine how long you can leave your house unoccupied.



What do you do when you leave your house for three months?

Ideally, you should arrange for someone to look after your home while you're away. This could be a friend, family member, neighbors, or professional service. If you have pets, make arrangements for their care as well.  

Before leaving, it's also a good idea to do a deep clean of your house so that everything is in order when you return. You may also want to consider suspending certain services, like newspaper delivery.

What to do before leaving a house vacant?

There are a few things you should do before leaving your house vacant for an extended period of time. We recommend getting your home insurance in order first and foremost. You'll want to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your home from any potential hazards while you're away—think break-ins, weather damage, and fires.

Once that's squared away, it's a good idea to do a walk-through of your home and take note of any valuables or items that could be damaged easily. It might be worth putting these items into storage or taking them with you to help avoid any potential loss or damage.

How long can I leave my house unoccupied?

30-60 days is a typical time that a house can be left unoccupied before noticeable changes in the environment (such as mold growth, pests, etc.) occur.


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