Here are our top six tips for a secure property:
1. Create an Illusion
Giving the appearance that the property is occupied will deter most burglars. Timers for light and sound (such as radio or television) will help your property appear to have someone inside. Remember that timing should coincide with your usual lifestyle. Importantly, remember to cancel deliveries. If the property is to be empty for an extended period of time, consider having post redirected. If no-one is opening and closing your curtains for you, it’s best to leave them open.
2. Kerb Appeal
In the situation, it’s what people can see inside your property from the outside that counts. Avoid giving any temptation to thieves by ensuring that valuables are not visible through the window.
3. Easy Access
Avoid leaving a spare key outside. An unoccupied home can give someone the time to look around for the key… under a rock, in the shed, on top of the gate post… and enter your property easily.
Test all locks and alarms before the property is empty and let your alarm company know when your home will be empty. Installing an alarm is a great idea and a determent in itself. Make sure that you and/or your tenants always set the alarm and know the codes.
If you know and get on with your neighbours, they can help create the look of an occupied property. They can help with the bins, take in deliveries and push post through the letterbox. They don't need a key for this and it does make a big difference.
6. Be Quiet!
Avoid the temptation to mention your holiday on social media – it’s promoting that your house is empty to hundreds – thousands – of people. It may also invalidate your insurance should some thing happen whilst you’re away.
“There are many simple steps which can increase the security of your empty property significantly,” says Jason Dyer of JTM Homes. “In addition, landlords should check their insurance policies. The insurance company may need to know if the property is going to be unoccupied. Not informing them could invalidate the insurance.”
For more useful information for landlords, read our guide. Plus – contact our specialist lettings team for an information discussion. We’re happy to answer any queries you may have.