Appearances can be deceiving, as we all know, but how can paying attention to the appearance of your vacant property enhance its security?
Short term security
For short term vacancies, such as between tenancies, keeping up the appearance of the property being in use is a good way to maintain security. This can be achieved by:
Maintaining the garden, and grounds – think seasonally and ensure leaves are swept up, weeds are kept down and fruits are picked rather than left rotting on trees.
- Having the property visited and locks checked regularly.
- Using heavy duty and visible locks and ensuring regular contact with trustworthy, easy to contact key-holders.
- Using timers to switch lights on after dark;
- Having neighbours park in the drive or in allocated bays, again to maintain the appearance of routines.
- Putting fake plants in windows.
- Having an alarm or dummy alarm fitted, as a visible deterrent.
- Having a house sitter if possible – the property won’t just appear occupied and less vulnerable it actually will be.
Prolonged vacant property protection
There are many reasons why a property stays vacant for a longer term, for example when awaiting planning consent to refurbish an empty property or during lengthy probate processes. In such cases, it’s not usually possible to keep that lived-in appearance up in the long term, so more stringent security measures will be needed. Basics should include:
- Installing visible security measures, such as, alarms, warning signs such as Neighbourhood Watch, Beware of the Dog or your chosen security company as a visible deterrent.
- Installing easy to spot monitored CCTV to act as a deterrent and record for when incidents do occur.
- Installing security screens, to act as both a visible deterrent and an actual barrier to unauthorised access.
- Removing waste regularly – to reduce the likelihood of becoming a spot for fly-tipping which once started can be costly to remove.