How to keep an empty property safe

With around 600,000 homes unoccupied in England, it is important to know how to keep spaces that aren’t in use safe.

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According to the BBC, properties are often left empty while landlords wait for their value to increase for resale. So ensure you’ve done these things to keep your empty property safe from costly damage.

Protect against unlawful occupation

As many as 20,000 people squat in a residential property each year, and although it has been a criminal offence since 2012, punishable by up to six months in jail, squatters continue.

Boarding up properties to prevent illegal access, and repairing entrances after break-ins is an important thing to do to keep unlawful occupants at bay. The cost of evicting squatters from their premises can be time consuming and expensive. N and U glass provides Emergency Glazing services in Leicester and can be contacted 24 hours a day. For emergency glaziers Leicester landlords can be assured of a reliable service from N and U.

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Remove valuable items

If a property is vacant, even if it is well secured, potential burglars are more likely to try to gain entry. If they succeed, they may spend some considerable time inside before they are detected, during which time they will look to remove potentially valuable things such as boilers or pipework, so don’t leave anything in a vacant property that you cannot afford to lose.

Turn off the stop cock

Water damage is a significant risk in vacant premises and if a building is unoccupied for a long time, the cost of repairing water leaks could be immense. So turn off your stop cock outside the property and drain all heating systems and cold water tanks.

Take out insurance

The Defective Premises Act 1972 and Occupiers Liability Act 1984 mean that property owners have a duty of care to anyone who sets foot in an empty property – that can include trespassers and vandals. So take out insurance to protect yourself from anybody claiming legal damages against you as the owner.

If you have to leave your property empty for a long time, ensure you’ve used appropriate locks and surveillance systems, and done what you can to mitigate the risks, but also be prepared to call in experts to help you fix problems should they occur.

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