It is imperative that the properties are visited regularly from a safety and security point of view. The Property Department therefore implements the following procedure:-
- That the central heating system and hot water cylinder are drained down immediately on vacant possession (Diocese arranges this).This is preferable to leaving the heat on low or intermittently, since extreme frost can occur at any time, particularly during the night, when the heating is off.With modern houses, roof insulation is extremely efficient and the heat does not dissipate into the roof space, thereby allowing freeze-up situations in the loft.
The Property Department is aware that if the heat is left off this can cause other problems such as damp.However, from past experience, remedial work from damp and damage to decorations is much more economical than re-plastering and replacing ceilings should a major burst occur due to frost damage or vandalism following a break-in.
- Please ensure that the property is secure: all doors and windows should be locked and, if possible, curtains should be fitted to the front windows.We recommend the installation of a time-switch so that lights come on and off at night.It is also a good idea to open and close curtains regularly to make the house look occupied.
- The garden should be kept tidy and the lawns mown.Where appropriate, reasonable costs for this can be reimbursed from the Sequestration Account, with the Archdeacons agreement.
- The house should be visited regularly, inside and out, at least twice a week, and any items of repair or maintenance reported to the Property Department at St Marys House.
- Please phone through meter readings to Property Department
- It is for the PCC upon the property becoming vacant to transfer the accounts into their name during the interregnum
- At the end of the interregnum the Property Department will, on receipt of copy bills, reimburse the standing charge element.
- Burglar Alarms
We would advise that the PCC continue to pay the lower premium during any interregnum and, as with other costs during this period, bill them to the sequestration fund to be reimbursed centrally.If the alarm contract is not continued, it may be more expensive to re-set up.It is important that the alarm is activated and left on during that time.
- The Business line should remain connected during the interregnum with a message to forward calls.The parish to remain responsible for this line/costs.
- The vicarages personal line should be disconnected.
- If an interregnum is less than 12 months the Diocesan Surveyor will produce a report, detailing ingoing works to be, in most cases, undertaken before the interviews.If an interregnum of than 12 months is anticipated, the house may be put out to let with vacant possession secured in time to carry out ingoing works.(Please refer to separate Ingoing works policy paper).
Andrew Mason - Director of Property
Original policy wef 19.2.10
Fifth revision wef 17.5.17