According to the Office for National Statistics, approximately 750,000 empty properties are vandalised each year, and repair work can sometimes cost more than the building itself. It’s understandable why so many commercial and residential properties are unoccupied for long periods.
Whether you’re a landlord waiting for the right tenant or a business centre manager with numerous empty offices due to the government advice stating, “everyone who can work from home must do so”, it’s essential to protect your assets — and that’s where a top-quality vacant property security company like Intraguard can help.
Vacant properties can be safe havens for criminal activity
From fly-tipping to metal theft, vandalism and squatting, vacant properties attract the wrong type of attention. In the commercial sector, metal theft is soaring in the UK — costing the economy £770 million a year. The Association of British Insurers says its members pay more than £1 million a week in compensation. Furthermore, clearing up fly-tipped rubbish costs councils £49.8m, while landlords often have to pay out hefty sums for repairs, especially when hazardous waste is involved.
When a property is vacant, it is also an easy target for unauthorised individuals such as opportunistic vandals and trespassers. In these unparalleled times, with lockdown restrictions in place, it’s perhaps more important than ever to protect your premises. Whilst CCTV cameras, alarms and signage can play an essential role in deterring a select few “would-be” intruders, the most effective approach is hiring a professional security company to watch over your vacant properties.
The importance of hiring a company for vacant property security
Vacant property security guards are highly trained to deliver manned guarding, minimising threats against squatters, fly-tippers, vandals and thieves. Whether you require a short, long-term or around-the-clock solution, having a team of SIA licenced guards will not only put your concerns to bed and give you total peace of mind but will save you time and money in the long run, preventing costly crimes from occurring at your premises, even when it’s vacated for long periods.
Many criminals actively scout vacant properties. A few tell-tale signs that residential landlords should be aware of include:
- Unkempt grass
- No curtains in the windows
- Doors or windows boarded up
- Damaged doors or smashed windows
- Letters and flyers piling up outside inside the mailbox or on the doorstep
- No lights on at any time of day
- No vehicles on the driveway
- Outdoor lights on timers
- Bins left at the curb for weeks
When you hire a security guard who specialises in protecting vacant properties, all of these tell-tale signs can be taken care of, whilst guards can also keep watch of CCTV cameras and respond rapidly to any signs of suspicious activity.
How can a security guard protect your vacant commercial property?
If your warehouse, industrial unit, office or retail store is empty with no security measures in place, your property may be at risk of being illegally occupied or damaged. The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated many businesses across the UK to close temporarily, whilst some companies have folded permanently, and others have followed the strict government guidance, enabling office employees to work from home. It has meant there’s been a considerable rise in empty commercial properties in recent months. Squatters can be very problematic for landlords and commercial property owners. For example, the police can only act if settlers commit any of the following crimes:
- Stealing from the property
- Disobeying a noise abatement notice
- Causing damage when entering
- Causing damage while staying in the property
- Not leaving when told to by a court
- Using utilities (like gas or electricity) without permission
Otherwise, an IPO must be made within 28 days of the landlord becoming aware of their property being occupied without their permission (not applicable to open land). With a security company on hand to check the property regularly, you can minimise the risk of squatters occupying your premises. Vacant property guards will ensure your buildings are secure with a combination of manned guarding, CCTV monitoring and alarm response.
Why choose Intraguard?
With a wealth of experience in property management security, our SIA licenced guards have helped a diverse range of landlords and property managers get the right level of protection. Whether you require a tailored strategy for numerous commercial properties across the UK or manned guarding for several residential properties, we can meet your needs. Below are just a few of the key reasons why we’ve grown to become one of the leading security companies focusing on vacant property protection:
- Over a decade of experience in security management for commercial and residential landlords.
- Efficient, cost-effective and tailored security methods, such as manned guarding, mobile patrols, remote CCTV monitoring and alarm response.
- Fully trained staff with rigorous training programs, guaranteeing a timely, confident and effective response to various emergencies.
- Our SIA licenced guards can quickly identify suspicious behaviour, acting as your property guardians!
Vacant properties are incredibly vulnerable to squatting, arson, fly-tipping, vandalism, theft and anti-social activities such as drug-taking. It’s becoming harder for landlords to prevent void periods in these turbulent times, so if you’re between lets or waiting for your tenant to move back in, we recommend you speak to our experienced security guards today. We will take the time to learn more about your concerns and the unique vulnerabilities your property faces before recommending a solution that’s right for you, bringing you complete peace of mind.