Empty properties – especially if furnished – can prove an appealing target to thieves, as well as fall victim to many other problems… Check out the tips below from the team at Unoccupied Direct for the best ways on how to protect your unoccupied property.
Check that all your locks are up-to-date and in full working order, with no signs of tampering or wear and tear. Whilst it may seem second nature, ensure on entering and leaving the building you’ve locked up. This includes all doors windows, tool sheds, garages and other outbuildings.
Lighting and alarms
Invest in a timer for your lamps and set them to come on at appropriate times of the day or night. This could mean that any opportunist thieves may be deterred from breaking in, as they’ll be less likely to know if anyone is home. You could also install movement activated security lights and deterrent alarms, just in case.
High quality house alarm systems can be expensive, but an effective preventative solution as well as possibly alerting the police if someone does break in.
Keep the heating on
Unoccupied properties can fall victim to unseasonal or extreme weather and lack of maintenance. To prevent against burst pipes, as well as damp and mould, try keeping the heating system set to a constant temperature. This could be as low as 12 degrees, but ensures the temperature in your property doesn’t drop too low.
Make sure to check the requirements of your insurance company, as some have regulations to follow – such as putting the heating system on constant – in order to provide cover your property.
Keep on top of the gardening
During a property’s unoccupied period, gardens can quickly become untamed; a direct giveaway that nobody is there to tend to them. As such, make sure the lawn is mown, hedges are trimmed and any weeds on the driveway are removed.
Make sure to pack away any gardening tools at the end of the day, as these could be used by thieves to break into the property.
Maintain the property
Keeping up with the maintenance of the property can help prevent deterioration, and particularly if it might be sold in the future, it makes sense to keep the property in a saleable condition. Clear out the gutters and ensure the draining systems are working well, ensuring water can be drained efficiently and not cause any unwanted leaks or damp patches.
Similarly, ensure that internal water systems are free from rust, corrosion and leaks, and insulate any exterior, exposed pipes are covered as necessary. The boiler and heater system should also be inspected and serviced annually.
Whilst it’s not wise, or fair, to rely on the neighbours of the property to constantly be looking after the home, it could be useful to have someone close by to keep an eye on things. You could offer them your driveway as an extra parking space, which could benefit you too, by making it look like someone is at home for the evening in your unoccupied property.
Unoccupied Direct’s market-leading product provides comprehensive insurance cover for properties left vacant for one of two reasons; the owner has passed away, or if the owner has moved into care, including residential, care home or back in with family members due to being without capacity. Visit www.unoccupieddirect.co.uk to find out more.