How to keep an empty property safe and secure

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Landlords will find they have a vacant property on their hands from time to time, and there are a number of steps to follow to ensure they are safe and secure. The property may be a second home that is often unoccupied, or the house could be temporarily set aside because the landlord doesn’t have the finances to carry out repairs. Regardless of the reason, empty homes can attract problems. An empty property that has fallen into a state of disrepair can fall victim to vandalism, fly-tipping and arson.

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If the property is expected to be vacant for a longer period of time, the insurer will have to be informed. Always read the small print in the insurance documents and be prepared to pay more as once the rental property is left vacant, the premiums will rise.

Ensure windows and doors are secured

Changing the locks between tenancies and fitting a five-lever mortice lock on external doors should be the first port of call. A solid and reliable lock will also prevent squatters from taking over.

A good security system will reduce chances of theft

An effective alarm system should be installed at the property if it is to be vacant for longer periods. 24-hour security cameras, intruder alarms and security lights are worth the investment and can provide peace of mind.

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Let the neighbours know

If the neighbours are friendly, approachable and reliable, it’s worth informing them in writing of your plans. A neighbour can act as a property guardian and alert the owner of activity or damage to property, both accidental and deliberate.

Letting agents and property managers who want to fill out a report of a property can take advantage of the range of property inventory software available on the market. Create professional reports with ease with the use of the software that can be obtained from sites like

According to The Sacramento Bee, corporations that own California properties could be fined for leaving homes vacant for more than three months under a proposed law.

Ensure the smoke alarm is operational

It’s important to ensure the smoke alarm is working, as is the carbon monoxide detector. Electrics can also be switched off, but if the property is to be left vacant in winter, heating can be scheduled to come on to prevent damp.

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