How to make your vacant property appear occupied

Use the tips in this blog to reduce the risk of your vacant property being targeted by intruders.

If your property becomes vacant it is at risk of falling victim to petty criminals, vandals, and squatters. Taking a few simple measures can help to disguise the fact that your property is empty and protect it from crime and intruders.

Maintain the exterior

If a property that is usually maintained to a high standard suddenly begins to look run down and overgrown, it can alert criminals and squatters to the fact that there is no longer anyone there to look after it. Arranging for your property’s exterior to continue to be maintained to the same standard will help to disguise the fact that it has been left empty. This could include painting fences, weeding, pruning plants, and mowing the lawn.

Stop the post

Whilst the property is vacant it is a good idea to either regularly collect the post or arrange for Royal Mail to hold the post with their Keepsafe serviceto prevent it from piling up at the front door.

Put lights and a radio on a timer

Plugging one or more timers into lamps and radios is an excellent way of giving the property the appearance of being occupied. Set the timers to turn on and off at the times that they would usually be used if someone was home. Use multiple timers to turn the light off downstairs and then turn them on upstairs a minute later to make it look like someone has gone upstairs to get ready for bed. Leaving a radio on by the backdoor can also be effective at scaring intruders away.

Don’t empty it

Once your tenant has moved out, it’s a good idea to move in a few of your own items if possible, to give the property a lived-in look for anyone passing by or peering in the window.

Security measures

Often visual security systems like CCTV video monitoring, burglar alarms and security lights are enough of a deterrent to criminals. Don’t forget to leave them all switched on and clearly advertise their presence to put intruders off.

For high risk properties that are likely to be vacant for some time you may wish to consider installing steel doors and screensto protect then from being broken into.

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