Real Estate Blog

How To Protect Your Vacant Property

If you have a property which will be left vacant for some time, you will want to find a way to make sure it remains safe and secure. The threat of vandals, squatters or trespassers breaking in is very real, and can put your property at serious risk of damage. Maybe you’ve inherited the property from a relative or you’re preparing a new office before you move sites. Whatever the reason, don’t risk letting your property be taken over by people who shouldn’t be there.

The best way to keep your property safe is to prevent the wrong people from getting in in the first place. As is often the case, prevention is better than cure, so for the duration of the property’s vacancy, make sure you have a way to stop people from getting in at all. Hiring concrete barriers can be a good solution for temporary site protection. Concrete is better than metal or plastic fencing because it’s a lot heavier and harder to move, and people will struggle to climb over it. If people can’t access the site at all, they will be much more likely to try elsewhere.

Another way to protect your property is with an alarm system. Research has shown that even the appearance of an alarm or CCTV system being in place can be enough to deter many burglars or trespassers, so if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a pricey alarm system, buy a fake camera or burglar alarm with a flashing light. If a trespasser thinks they’ll set off an alarm system, they won’t try to break in.

Boarding up the windows can be a good temporary solution. Use durable boards to ensure that windows can’t be smashed, allowing easy access to your building. This is especially important if your property contains lots of expensive equipment. A vacant office space, for instance, will probably contain lots of electronic equipment such as computers and printers, and you don’t want to make it easy for a burglar to smash a window, reach in and grab the nearest item.

Other deterrents include setting up barbed wire around any walls surrounding the property, along with anti-climb paint. If you prefer a less intrusive approach, placing some thorny plants across the entrance to the property or setting up some movement-activated floodlights can act as an excellent way to put people off entering your building unlawfully. Another thing to remember is that any regular deliveries should be cancelled or cleared away in order to make it less obvious that the property is empty. A large pile of free newspapers or unopened milk left outside a house will make it instantly recognisable as a vacant property, attracting burglars and trespassers.

About the author

Tanya Branning works as a specialist property security consultant and advises property owners on the best ways to protect vacant property

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