Just as a building requires proper management when it is occupied, it is equally important to continue its proper management during any period of vacancy.
It is essential to ensure that where a building is likely to be vacated and left unoccupied for a lengthy period (effectively 'mothballed') of time that regular inspections and routine maintenance are continued.
Protective works to properly secure the building (allowing for reasonable ventilation) and avoidance of water ingress and flooding by unblocking gutters, gullies and drains is also an essential requirement.
Carrying out a survey to identify if there is rot present and to establish the structural condition of a building will also be essential. Eradication of rot, if found, should be undertaken early.
All services should be isolated. Pipe work, cisterns and taps should be drained down. Gas and electrical services should be terminated outside the building to minimize the risk of fire.
Owners should notify insurers, the local authority and the police as standard practice when a property is to be left vacant.
Sufficient details should be recorded to allow the building to be taken into effective management during its period of vacancy.
Where there are valuable fixtures and fittings in a building, a proper record (security marking/photographic record) should be made of architectural items of interest such as:
Where there is concern that security measures will not be satisfactory to prevent loss of architectural fittings, you are advised to contact the planning authority as a matter of urgency for advice.