If you own property you are likely to find yourself, at some point, leaving your property empty. You may want to sell up but the time is not right, or you may be waiting for the cash to become available to refurbish a place so you can rent it out. Or the building may not be selling, despite being on the market. Whatever the reason for having an empty property, you need to do some things to secure it so you do not risk criminal damage, illegal entry, or other problems.
Keep Everything Locked, Always
It seems like a simple thing but it is important to keep all the windows and doors locked, and to show that they are locked – using good quality, heavy-duty locks provides a visible deterrent and also works for your insurers. If you have had workers coming into the property while it has been empty, change the locks once you know they have gone. It is important to make sure that the windows are particularly secure – if the building will be unoccupied for a long time, boarding up the windows will be a good idea but it does give the immediate sign that the building is empty.
Deal with Your Rubbish
When a place is unoccupied you are naturally going to have a problem with a build-up of waste around the property. Litter, property waste, leaves, and vegetation all needs to be cleared up when possible. This will help make your property look more lived-in, and may discourage intruders. You also minimise the risk of passers-by getting injured, or waste build-up becoming a health hazard.
Inform Your Neighbours
If you have property in a residential neighbourhood or in a busy urban area, it helps to befriend your neighbours so that they can report any unusual activity at the property back to you – if you haven’t already hired a maintenance or security company to cover this for you. A quick call from a neighbour about a broken window helps avoid the potential problem of a break-in, for example.
Hire Some Security Help
If your property is in a high-risk area or you have valuable items inside, consider hiring security guards. Or if you want another alternative, think about getting Property Guardians to live in the property while you wait to sell it. Property guards are normal people; they are not security guards but they do provide security as their presence is a deterrent and they also help maintain the building and cut your empty building costs.