Holiday Home Insurance

Holiday home maintenance


Owning a holiday home is many peoples dream, yet some dreams can easily turn into nightmares when the purchase of a holiday home is not fully thought through. For example it is always a chore to carryout the maintenance on a home which we live in day-in day-out, however when there is work to be carried out on a holiday home which might be hundreds of miles away this brings additional complexities and challenges.


You should always consider the maintenance issues associated with second home ownership and how they differ from those encountered at a main residence, and we will attempt to provide you some tips and ways to avoid problems.


This subject can be approached in two ways when it comes to holiday homes; proactive and reactive. And the primary concern for owners is how to manage any planned or unforeseen issues from possibly hundreds of miles away.


Will this involve many long and unplanned trips to the property, taking time out from your normal commitments at short notice? So what are the maintenance issues and how can they be addressed?


Security can be a concern for owners where the property is unoccupied for prolonged periods of time. Is there a risk of burglary, vandalism or squatting at the property? And how can these risk be minimised? This may affect where and which property you choose to buy; the remote cottage or the apartment in the centre of a seaside town. Also check your contents and buildings insurance is appropriate for unoccupied properties.


Repairs, planned or unplanned, may be required during your period of ownership. Identifying a network of tradesmen in the area to include a plumber, electrician and so on maybe a practical exercise early on in the ownership experience. And this again depends on the type of property you own, where for example, an apartment in a block will be overseen by a management company or a lodge on a holiday complex will have certain maintenance tasks included in an annual service charge. Finding skilled people in advance is a much cheaper exercise than trying to find them remotely.


Always have a copy of the Yellow Pages at your permanent home is a wise thing to do, so at least you can phone around in the comfort of your own home, rather than travel hundreds of miles just to make some calls.


Also consider having the property checked upon regularly by someone you trust (neighbour, friend, family member) especially during long periods of unoccupancy, therefore minor faults can be ‘nipped in the bud’ before they escalate to major issues which would cost more and take longer to resolve.


Other maintenance issues may include gardening, decorating the external and internal of the property, and servicing the boiler.


One solution may be to employ a keyholder in the local area who can key an eye on the property and let tradesmen in as and when required. A number of companies now operate such services across the country and can provide different levels of service from basic keyholding to a full management service to remove the hassle from ownership.

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Securing your holiday home is of great importance, both when it is in use or unnocupied. The following checklist will help ensure that your holiday home secure:


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