Hundreds of thousands of British homes have been left without an occupier for more than 30 days and now may not be covered by standard home insurance policies, according to charity Empty Homes.
Typical home insurance policies do not cover properties that have been vacant for longer than a month, leaving owners liable to cover costs of damage caused by a leakage or break-in.
This could become a growing problem for the thousands of homeowners that are forced to leave a property unoccupied as the housing market falters.
It is recommended that policyholders speak to their insurer about extending the period it covers the property unoccupied, but it is unlikely to do this for more than a couple of months.
After that it may be worth purchasing specific coverage for an empty home, this is usually cheaper than simply extending a policy.
Otherwise, homeowners should perform regular maintenance on the home by checking the boiler and turning on the heating for a couple of hours a day in the winter to avoid pipes freezing.
Try to ward off potential thieves or squatters by having a neighbour park their car in the drive and keeping the front and back garden in good condition.