How Long Can I Leave My House Unoccupied?

How Long Can I Leave My House Unoccupied?

Video Transcript:

How Long Can I Leave My House Unoccupied?

That’s a fantastic question! It’s the middle of the summer…you want to go on a vacation…you want to get away…you want to leave your house maybe for more than a week. Or let’s say you have some kind of family event and you need to go stay with a family member or a friend for a little while and you want to leave your house unoccupied for an extended period of time.

Today, I’m going to talk you through a couple different scenarios on what you should be planning for. How you should go about doing this. And I’m going to try to answer the question of “How Long Can I Leave My House Unoccupied?“.

One to Two Weeks

Because that’s a really important question. So let’s start with the basic one. I’m going to use colors here, green, because this is pretty safe. This is one to two weeks, right. It’s exactly what I was just talking about. You’re going on vacation, you want to just basically close up the windows, close up the doors, make sure everything’s locked. If you have an alarm, set your alarm. Think about your heating and cooling to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze or if you have hardwood floors and they can’t have a high level of humidity in the house then you have to set your cooling accordingly.

So these are just a couple things to think about in the short term, one to two weeks. Really not too worried about this. People go on vacation all the time and they don’t have any problems!

One to Three Months

Okay the next period of time is maybe for one to three months. Now you’re really wondering how long can I leave my house unoccupied. So what does this mean? You need to start thinking about more than just what’s within one to two weeks. And these will build off each other. So you got to do everything you would have done on the shorter time frame here except now you got to probably think about finding somebody to stop by your house within those one to three months to make sure everything’s okay.

That’s a longer period of time. You’re going to probably have additional considerations like theft or weather events. You want to have somebody come by at least every three months just to make sure that there’s nothing extremely wrong with the property or the the lot of land it’s on or your neighbors don’t have any complaints because that’s a long period of time to go unchecked.

Over 6 Months

And then the last one that’s really concerning right, this is when it becomes more of like a vacant situation, it’s anything over six months. How long can I leave my house unoccupied? Well, I would avoid anything more than 6 months.

For this one you probably have to let the township know, the city, that there’s a house unoccupied. It’s a long period of time. You probably need a permit or a license to have an unoccupied house. Some other things too, right, like what if you have a leak in your pipes and it goes unchecked for six months? You might have extreme damage to the structure of your house or your basement or your foundation. Water can be a major problem for homes.

You want to probably think to a little bit about the condition of the property. Are you going to board it up? Are you going to have an alarm system? You definitely have to have somebody come check on it if it’s six months or more. If you’re just gonna have a vacant house.

Takeaways For Leaving Your Home Unoccupied

So these are kind of different ways to think about for leaving your home unoccupied.

Because, especially if it’s your house, not an investment property, or you’re watching a house for a friend or family, you want to make sure you think about these things in considerations, right.

If you’re thinking about leaving your house unoccupied for a long period of time, maybe you should be thinking about selling it! Taking that cash and doing something else completely instead of worrying about all the issues or problems that could arise from a vacant unoccupied house.

If you’re in Philadelphia and you’re thinking about that, call my team. We can give you some expert advice on how to deal with unoccupied vacant houses.

If you’re thinking about selling it, we could buy your house from you. We do cash offers. Very quickly.

My name is Doug and my team is Signature Properties. Our website is I hope you found this information helpful and thanks for watching.

Doug Greene

Doug Greene is a creative real estate investor, master content curator and evangelist for easier, better and more enjoyable real estate experiences for all. He owns Signature Properties, a Philadelphia real estate company that solves unique problems for homeowners and investors. His work has been featured on Yahoo Finance, AOL, Family Handyman and many more authoritative publications.

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