How to secure a long term vacant property

In 2011 it was announced that 900,000 properties were empty across the UK. With so many properties remaining vacant there has been a surge in unauthorised entry, vandalism and squatting of unsecure properties. Properties can be vacant for long periods of time for a number of reasons but this shouldn’t mean a property should be victim to vandalism and squatting. To prevent your property becoming victim to mindless vandalism or squatting we have mapped out a few innovative ways to keep your vacant property secure.

Hire a security guard

This is an expensive option but it is recommended for more large scale properties that require 24 hour security. Properties that have benefited from security guard surveillance in the past have included vacant hotels, restaurants and residential homes. Hiring security guards to maintain the security of your property will guarantee security and ensure your property is always under surveillance. Hiring a security guard does pose a problem, and that is price. Hiring a 24/7 security guard is estimated to cost in excess of £130,000 meaning that this spending will have to justify the value of the price you place on the property.

Install an alarm system

Installing an alarm system is reasonably easy and can be equally cheap (pending on the size of your property). Installing an alarm system will enable you to deter potential intruders with warning signs and the fear of the actual alarm. Alarm systems aren’t the most effective means of security for a long term vacant property as intruders have been able to trick alarms in the past. If you want to deter intruders for a smaller property an alarm should be considered, but in a larger development an alarm should work in conjunction with a much larger scale security plan.

Board your property up

Boarding your property up will tell intruders one thing – Do not enter! Boarding a property up can make it near enough impossible for intruders to enter your property but in the past this has proved different. When squatters and vandals see boarding on a property, they instantly recognise the property as empty. When boarding a property up ensure the boarding is secure and tamper proof, empty properties are vulnerable properties.

Use a mobile patrol company

Mobile patrol companies are a reasonably effective means of property security. With a mobile patrol you don’t have to pay the substantial fees that are associated with a 24/7 security guard but you receive near enough the same security. A mobile patrol will check on your property at numerous stages throughout a day. When hiring a mobile patrol company you can make it clear to would-be intruder’s patrols are watching your property through signage.

Use a property guardian service

Property Guardian services are the latest phenomenon to sweep across the UK in response to the large amounts of houses that remain vacant today. Property guardian services work by contacting empty property owners with a proposition of filling their property with “guardians” who live in the empty property at a below market-rate rental value in return for a room in their vacant properties. In the short time these companies have been in existence the uptake has been phenomenal, with the vast majority of companies claiming they have huge lists of potential “guardians”. The beauty of using a property guardian service is that you don’t have to hire the services of a security service, install extra security or boarding and your property doesn’t have to suffer as a result of neglect.

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