What to do if you have a vacant property

You may have a home or property that will be sitting empty for a while if it’s in between tenants, or if you’re not ready to move in yet. Either way, you will need to get in touch to let us know as soon as you become responsible.

An empty property might still use some energy if you’ve set the heating to come on occasionally, or if you’ve left any appliances running, like the fridge.

Even if you aren’t using any energy, you’ll need to pay the daily standing charge for keeping your gas and electricity connected to the network. You can read more about standing charges on our Help Centre.

Here are some things to remember if you have a vacant property.

You’ll need a name on your Bulb account

  • When you get in touch to let us know the property is empty, we need you to be named on the account to make any changes. If you’re not, we will ask for a tenancy agreement or legal documentation to show you’re responsible for the property.

  • If you’re the landlord of the property, we can set up a landlord account for you. By having you permanently listed as the landlord for the property, we know who to contact each time a tenant moves out. To get this set up, we will need your consent.

We’ll estimate your energy usage without a meter reading

  • If you don’t have a smart meter then we recommend submitting monthly meter readings. If you aren’t at the property then this won’t always be possible, so we’ll have to estimate your usage based on the previous usage in the property. Once we get up to date readings, we can then revise your bill.

  • You can book a free smart meter installation in your Bulb account.

You can make one-off payments if the property will be empty for less than 3 months

  • If your property is going to be vacant for less than one month then you don’t need to set up a Direct Debit. We’ll ask you to make a one-off payment when you first get in touch to cover the standing charge. This is usually around £7 a month for each fuel.

  • If your property is going to be vacant for one to three months then we recommend you set up a Direct Debit to cover the standing charge. Alternatively, you can make monthly one-off payments by topping up your Bulb account or with a BACS payment. These payments need to be made within 1 week of receiving a bill for the property.

  • If your property is going to be vacant for more than 3 months then you need to set up a Direct Debit to cover the standing charge.

We’d love to hear from landlords about your experiences with vacant properties, whether with us or with other suppliers.