7 routes to property heaven or property hell. Owners can be liable for 6 figure costs if they are found to be non-compliant
VPS, the country’s leading vacant property specialists, have issued The Risk List, reminding landlords and facilities managers responsible for vacant properties to ensure they meet insurance requirements, or risk severe penalties in the event of an incident.
“The impact of floods, arson and vandalism can cost hundreds of thousands to repair. If you cut corners by not having regular, professional inspections, you run the very real risk of footing the entire bill, not your insurance company.” Says Anthony Owen, Managing Director of VPS.
The Risk List:
1) The Risk Of No Inspections
Aside from the requirement to comply with insurance, inspecting a property is an effective way of ensuring that any damage that has occurred can be fixed quickly and at minimal expense, before the problem gets worse. For example a burst pipe can be fixed easily, but the flooding caused by a pipe that burst a month prior will be far more costly. A smashed window can be fixed for a few pounds, but removing 30 squatters from your site is a far more costly procedure.
2) The Risk Of Non-Compliance: if insurance compliance is not met – your costs are not covered.
Last year 2,000 people attended an illegal barn rave in Bedfordshire which cost the farmer £100,000. The revelers raided a grain barn and the farmer had to call in specialist contractors to clear the mess left behind and to clean the grain. Poor security, infrequent or no inspections can damage the chances of a successful claim.
3) The Risk Of Litigation
Landlords can be sued even by trespassers if they are injured on a vacant or derelict site. Owners and those responsible for managing premises need to be able to demonstrate that they made sufficient effort to keep any visitors to site safe, both those that have been invited and those not
4) The Risk of No Proof Or Evidence Of Inspections.
Reports not time and date stamped lead to uncertainty and lack of plausible deniability. VPS use a variety of technologies such as the Inspection IQ, an app that will allow totally traceable inspections for landlords, site owners and facilities managers. It ensures that the inspection service is comprehensive, provides proof of presence and that no location on a site is missed. The VPS Inspections Service has been devised to meet the requirements of the world’s leading insurers, and consequently be appointed as the preferred supplier for the top companies.
5) The Risk Of DIY Inspections
Carrying out inspections yourself may seem a cost-saving exercise, but it could turn out to be a false economy. Trained inspectors have an eye for detail in a specialist field, and you have additional peace of mind that a company’s reputation is behind the inspection.
6) The Risk Of Invalidating An Inspection
There are all sorts of best practices and regulatory requirements to keep abreast of, in order to meet insurance compliance. Using a non-certified form for example, could lead to a range of problems, some of which will only come to light when an incident occurs.
7) A Proven, Evidence-Based Track Record vs. A Record-Less Trail
Professional inspectors’ livelihoods depend on keeping up-to-date records, detailing premises strengths and potential weaknesses. They inform, advise and ultimately help protect the interests of the property owner.
“Our inspectors carry out over 100,000 inspections annually – that means across the UK alone, explains Mr Owen.
“When it comes to inspections, “Inspect and Save” is our motto and we mean it. Many household-name insurance companies recommend VPS to support their clients’ vacant properties because we are sector specialists and the leaders in the field, we do it to the highest professional standards in the industry, and because reducing the costs of repairs will save landlords and insurance companies way, way more than the cost of protection against risk in the first place.”
Last month, Procurement for Housing (PfH), the national procurement organisation dedicated to the needs of the social housing sector, awarded VPS an agreement to provide voids property management services to their 850 members across the country, who manage over 4 million properties. The framework provides a one-stop-shop giving Members a complete start-to-end solution for all their void property requirements, and was awarded on the basis that VPS adopts a competitive, commercial approach.
About the VPS Group:
We secure more than 50,000 residential and commercial properties and employ over 1600 staff in locations across the UK, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe. They specialise in securing, maintaining and managing vacant property across a wide range of customer and industry sectors.
Core building services cover the vacant, unoccupied and void property lifecycle from an initial risk assessment, to security, including guarding, monitoring, clearing, cleaning, maintenance and preparation. These services protect properties against unauthorised access and a variety of hazards such as arson, theft, squatting and unauthorised occupation. www.vpspecialists.co.uk