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Frozen pipe. Image CC credit Scott Akerman

Severe weather warnings put vacant properties at risk

With severe weather alerts currently in place for parts of the UK, vacant property specialists, VPS are urging vacant property owners to move to Levels 2 and 3 of their Cold Weather Plan to limit damage and ensure insurance compliance.

As the Meteorological Office issues UK amber alerts for snow, ice, wind and rain, VPS has recommended their client landlords and owners progress onto the higher levels of their Cold Weather Plan.

Anthony Owen, Managing Director of VPS warned:

“With up to 15cm of snow falling overnight and further heavy falls and severe weather expected, there is a substantial increase in risks of damage that can lead to thousands of pounds of repairs.

“Insurers may not meet claims if a property has not been checked and maintained properly. Flooding from a burst pipe in an unattended property can go unnoticed for days, and the repair to a roof which has collapsed from heavy snow can run into five figures quite easily.”

The ‘VPS Cold Weather Plan’ outlines cases where the lack of adequate property maintenance has meant a failure in compliance with the insurance terms for a vacant property, leaving owners thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Owen continued:

“The three level plan is straightforward – level one is about preparation and planning, but now the severe winter weather has well and truly arrived, we’re moving to levels two and three. Action and increased inspections to minimise potential damage, assessment and repair for where there has been an incident. The guide distils the experience of our staff who take care of properties every day. It contains a wealth of tips from warning signs if a roof is about to collapse from the weight of snow and ice, through to simply checking your level of cover with your insurer. A well-cared for property will re-let sooner than a neglected one.”

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