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8 Top Tips on Keeping Your Empty Property Safe

Row of houses
01 May 2024

By UKinsuranceNET In Unoccupied Property Advice

Empty properties can attract trouble. That’s why it is always sensible to have Unoccupied Property Insurance in place once your property passes the maximum number of unoccupied cover days permitted by your standard policy.

However, problems are always better avoided than dealt with. So, we at UKinsuranceNET would like to offer you some top tips on how to secure your empty property.

How to secure your empty property in 8 simple steps

1. Disguise its emptiness

A major tool when securing your empty property is disguising the fact that it is empty.

This is typically fairly easy and involves things such as making sure there are no visible accumulations of post, keeping all external areas and gardens tidy, and perhaps putting some lights on timer switches.

2. Disconnect utility supplies

You should also disconnect utility supplies at the source. Gas and water continuing to circulate in pipes around an unoccupied property may be an accident waiting to happen.

In fact, some unoccupied property cover may make this a mandatory requirement.

3. Don’t advertise it

Avoid advertising the fact that it is empty. There may not be much point in trying to hide the fact that it is empty, as outlined above if you then mention that fact in advertisements.

Be a little cautious about just who you tell that your property is standing unoccupied and if it is due to renovations, ask builders to avoid hanging advertising signs outside the property.

4. Move things around

Thieves, vandals and squatters typically don’t like uncertainty about the occupancy status of a property.

Therefore, periodically visit the property and move around ornaments visible in windows and adjust the positions of curtains to give the illusion that people are living at the property.

5. Notify trusted neighbours

It’s also a good idea to notify trusted neighbours about your empty home. This may be something that requires judgement, as it might run contrary to some of the above advice.

However, if you know and trust a neighbour, ask them to keep an eye on your property. They may quickly notify the police or you if anything looks untoward.

6. Install additional security

Another way to improve empty property security is to install additional security. It’s true that you can’t turn a house into a fortress, but many thieves and vandals prefer easy access and low-risk opportunities.

Things such as professional security locks and bolts plus alarms may be a serious deterrent to many.

7. Make regular visits

Visit your property regularly to check for problems. Things such as pest infestations or a leaking pipe are best seen and dealt with immediately rather than being allowed to cause cumulative damage.

Once again, some policies may make this a mandatory obligation as part of providing Unoccupied Property Insurance.

8. Reroute your telephone

Don’t disconnect or place telephone lines on answer phones. Some thieves try to assess the status of properties over the phone and disconnected lines or permanent answer phones are sometimes seen as a green light for illegal entry.

Instead, consider having a number rerouted to your mobile or your own landline.

Upgrade your Home Insurance to Unoccupied Property Insurance

By following these eight empty property security tips, you can protect your investment and minimise the risks associated with leaving property unoccupied.

Sometimes, just a little thought and preventative action can go a long way towards securing both your home and your peace of mind. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

Now that you know how to secure your empty property, there is one extra step that can make all the difference.

Securing specialised house insurance for an empty property gives you an added layer of protection and reassurance that can be invaluable, especially as a regular Home Insurance policy is unlikely to give you the cover you need.

UKinsuranceNET is one of the UK’s leading brokers of bespoke insurance products for landlords. We have a deep understanding of the private rented sector and know what landlords need to succeed.

As such, we can provide Unoccupied Property Insurance from a range of insurers that covers you from all the perils of leaving your home vacant.

Are you a landlord in need of Unoccupied Property Insurance? Get an instant online quote now.

Image by Danny McL

NB: This blog was first published on 28 November 2020 and has since been updated to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

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