Occasionally, you’ll find that you have no choice but to leave a property empty. A commercial tenant might suddenly go out of business and leave, or a new development nearby might make it challenging to find a buyer to fill the property.
Empty properties don’t just represent lost rent for the owner; they’re also a liability. Unoccupied addresses are significantly more prone to break-ins and other security issues.
Furthermore, if something does go wrong, your regular cover is probably invalid. Most property insurance only applies if the property is occupied. If the property is permanently unoccupied then you need a special kind of insurance called Unoccupied Property Compliance Insurance.
Don’t worry, though: there are plenty of things you can do to protect an empty property. Clearway, specialists in empty property security, take a look at 5 ways to protect your empty properties below.
- Install Security Doors
Firstly, it makes sense to secure the entrances as they are quite often the first attempted point of entry. Security doors are reinforced doors that make breaking into an unoccupied building much more difficult. Security doors should, ideally, be made from steel as they will be highly resistant to high-impact assault from would-be trespassers.
The best security doors come with a keyless lock. These have a million+ unique keycodes that you can enter into a digital keypad to enter the property should you need to show prospective tenants around or gain access to the property for any reason. Other features can include a multi point locking mechanism and cut-proof hinges for additional durability and security. Generally, security doors are an effective and competent security measure but you’ll need to approach a specialist company to have these doors installed.
- Install Security Screens
Security screens protect vacant properties by covering the windows in tamper-proof metal sheets. The screens cover the entire frame of external windows of the property and are held in place with bolts.
The fixing mechanism ensures the screens are fitted in such a way that they do not damage the window frames themselves, but still prevent determined trespassers from getting in. These preformed zinc-coated steel panels, or perforated steel sheets are far superior alternative to wooden boards which provide no protection in the event of an arson attack.
- Set up Vacant Property Alarms
Property alarms are one of the most effective methods owners use to protect vacant properties. Many of these alarms are designed for temporary use and can be installed without any need for external electricity supply or access to wired internet as they are battery operated and communicate via the mobile network.
Today’s alarms typically come with both sensors and video cameras that connect to your devices through the web. A video verified alarm, which is a battery operated device, detects motion and immediately begins recording, sending the footage to the owner to determine the appropriate action to take.
- Set up Temporary CCTV measures
Temporary CCTV offers the same ‘visual deterrent’ benefits as an alarm system and allows you or your security firm to keep an eye on your property at all times . Video cameras capture any movement around your property and send you, or a monitoring station, alerts if they see anything out of the ordinary. The more flexible temporary CCTV systems do not require mains electricity supply or any other form of on-site power as they can be battery operated and even use solar panels to keep the batteries charged. For communications they piggy-back on the mobile phone networks to send you images of intruders if they detect any movement.
Another option is to commission a CCTV tower. They too operate independently of mains power or a wired internet connection and have the significant advantage of being able to survey a large area from height, and multiple angles, recording events in real time. CCTV towers are a great visual deterrent, providing extensive coverage for sites in any location.
- Rent Concrete Barrier Blocks
Concrete barrier blocks provide the perfect solution for commercial property owners wanting to prevent access to a driveway, carpark or other open land after a closure. Often, trespassers will try to take advantage of unused car parks and driveways to store their vehicles or carry out fly-tipping, knowing that it is unlikely that they will face repercussions.
Concrete barrier blocks are highly cost effective way to secure outdoor areas, without having to invest in fixed perimeter fencing. You simply deposit them where you need them and then remove them after you fill the vacant site.