Last year, a combination of pending sales, bereavements, and renovations caused a 35% increase in the volume of vacant properties throughout the UK.
Retailers have been forced into closing their doors and landlords have found themselves in a waiting game for payment, often ending up in financial trouble.
As more and more properties become vacant, criminal activity also rises, with the likes of vandals, squatters, and arsonists making vacant properties their playgrounds – racking up costs for landlords to bear the burden of.
With everything moving so quickly, it’s hard to know how to react.
If you’re a landlord or property manager in the unfortunate position of your commercial or residential property suddenly becoming vacant, this blog serves as a helpful resource when identifying what to do next.
We discuss the best actions that can be taken for the immediate and effective prevention of criminal activity at your vacant property…
The Fastest Vacant Property Security Solution
In a moment, your residential, retail or commercial premises can turn from a hive of activity into a vacant property.
Uniformed security guards, especially when deployed within hours of being hired, are an excellent method of demonstrating an actively managed and protected site, despite being vacant. Systematically patrolling your property for constant coverage, guards both deter and intercept trespassers to prevent loss or damage.
While this is an effective and immediate solution, 24-hour manned security over an extended period of time can be costly. If your property will remain vacant for an indefinite period, alternative methods of security should be considered to provide a more cost-effective solution.
Boarding Up Properties & Decommissioning Vacant Properties
A 2017 case study, written by Case Western Reserve University, confirms the link between rising levels of crime and the length of time a property remains vacant. This study acts a stark reminder of how important it is to take the necessary precautions when your property remains vacant as the likelihood of crime exponentially increases.
When looking to take such precautions, it’s important to identify the weak spots on your building in order to secure them ahead of a potential criminal visit. Unsecured windows and doors are prime examples of an easy target for criminals. Locks are often broken to give access to squatters and windows are smashed by vandals and arsonists.
‘Boarding-up’ windows with steel screens adds an impenetrable level of security to your property.
Preventing broken windows and illegal entry, steel screens are also non-combustible to help protect against arson attacks and are fitted using anti-tamper fixings, providing a more secure solution than plywood boards.
At this point of being in charge of a vacant property, a comprehensive decommissioning service should also be considered and should be carried out within 24-hours.
Decommissioning helps settle issues that might be flagged by your insurance company as only when the locks are changed, utilities are switched off and waste is cleared, can a property officially be declared as ‘vacant’.
CCTV For Long Term Vacant Properties
According to reports, the value of metal theft alone is estimated to cost the UK economy over £700m each year. With vacant properties being prime locations for theft and other criminal activities to occur, installing CCTV can help combat this significantly.
Wireless CCTV systems provide your vacant property with 24-hour surveillance. The best services offer 24/7 monitoring by security professionals, whereby, if a crime is attempted, a security patrol will immediately be dispatched and the Police will be called.
What About Electricity Supply (or lack of)?
As vacant properties often don’t have a consistent and reliable electricity supply, long-life batteries are used in vacant property CCTV systems, to provide effective security to even the most remote of vacant properties.
Properties can become vacant with little to notice at all, causing landlords and property managers like yourself a significant and urgent security problem.
Luckily, there are solutions that can easily and quickly be installed to help you maintain your assets to the best possible standards.
Within 3-hours, a uniformed security guard or dog handler can be on-site patrolling your property, providing immediate security, and deterring criminal activity.
On top of this, it’s important to prepare for the long term. Through steel security screens and full decommissioning services, your property can remain safe and secure before wireless CCTV systems can be installed, providing cost-effective 24-hour surveillance.
Offering a full range of vacant property security solutions, Secure Site UK is always here to assist you with your security requirements.
Speak to our team of security experts and let us secure your vacant property today.