What to do with your home while you’re travelling

Even if you’re planning a long period of travelling, the issue of what to do with your property and the possessions in it should get some serious thought. You could lock it up and simply leave it as it is for when you get back, or you could have it working for you while you’re away.

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If you are going to leave your property empty while you’re away, it goes without saying that you should check that all doors and windows can be securely locked. Turn all electrical items off at the wall socket before you go – this means defrosting your fridge/freezer in good time! – to save energy, but reset your heating. Just turning off your heating could mean frozen pipes in the winter, which will mean broken and leaking pipes when they thaw. Keeping heat running through them for a hour a day should prevent this from happening. You should also give a set of keys to a family member or friend, so they can check in on the house from time to time and deal with any emergencies – it might be advisable to leave them with an emergency fund to cover necessary repair work, too.

If you want your property to earn some money for you while you’re away you have two choices: renting out to a long-term tenant or turning your property into a holiday home.

Long-term tenancy

If you can secure a long-term tenant for your property, you’ll be assured of regular monthly income. However, being a landlord gives you plenty of extra responsibilities, which are outlined here. From ensuring your property is safe to taking out insurance for liabilities, there is a lot to consider.

Becoming a holiday home

If your property is well placed near popular tourist spots, holiday lettings can be very lucrative – you can charge more per day for a letting than you would get with a long-term let, but you will have to account for empty periods. While lucrative, turning your property into a holiday let means a lot of work securing and dealing with tenants, so it is worth looking into the services of a lettings management firm such as Rent My Cottage. These companies can market your let and arrange for the management of lettings, and should be able to put you in touch with recommended local companies who can maintain the property for you between lets.