The school summer holidays are almost here and there is a good chance that your tenants may be heading abroad for a much needed break, leaving your property empty and therefore vulnerable.
To help ensure that your property remains protected, you may care to consider some of these tips provided by the owner of Belvoir Birmingham Central, Major Mahil, designed to keep your property safe while your tenants are away.
Police your policy
If your tenant is going to be away for an extended period of time your insurance company may need to be informed.
Most insurance companies will want to know if the property is going to be empty and, if the appropriate steps aren’t taken, the policy may be invalidated and any claims made affected.
Always read your insurance documents carefully and don’t forget the small print!”
Most burglaries take place when no one is home so make sure the property appears to be occupied.
There are a couple of tips and tricks for this, including setting timers on internal lights and maybe a radio, plus cancelling deliveries such as newspapers and perhaps having post temporarily redirected so it’s not stacking up behind the door. This is particularly pertinent if the door is made from glass.
Good neighbours can be a valuable asset in creating the illusion that someone is home and helping you win the war on holiday crime.
They can put out the dustbin on the appropriate day, push post through the door if it’s stuck in the letter box and perhaps even mow the lawn. If they have a key to the property they could open and close the curtains on a daily basis too.
Many burglaries aren’t pre-planned so make sure there’s nothing to tempt an opportunist and attract them to the property.
Always ask your tenant to store away valuable items, such as jewellery and games consoles etc, so that they are not on display. Perhaps provide blinds which can be angled to reduce visibility too.
If the property has a burglar alarm make sure your tenant knows how to use it properly and ask them to set it before they leave.
Make sure you know the security code too so the property can still be entered in an emergency.
Light up your life
Well illuminated areas have less appeal to a would-be intruder than poorly-lit spaces with dark corners in which to hide.
Make sure the outside of the property is suitably lit by providing security lights with timers or motion sensors. Ensure the nearest streetlights are working too.”
Lock up and leave
It goes without saying that locking up before leaving should be a priority... but it’s surprising how many people forget to do this!
Remind your tenant that they need to lock all lockable doors, close windows and shut internal doors too, which will help slow down the spread of fire if one was to occur while the property was unoccupied.
As a landlord, make sure all locks are secure and fit for purpose, plus if the property has window locks make sure the keys have been provided and the tenant is aware that they are expected to use them.”
Access all areas
Before your tenant vacates for vacation it’s wise to ask for their permission to enter the property for regular checks during their absence.
This can be useful in order to make sure everything is ok and to troubleshoot maintenance issues, such as potential leaks. Even a small drip can do a lot of damage if left undetected for a long period of time!
It’s very important that your tenant is selective in who they tell about their forth-coming trip.
This is particularly important when it comes to social media. Posting pictures and updates about a holiday online is simply advertising that no one is home.
If your property is set to be empty for a long period of time, ask your local letting agent for their tips and advice.
They are experts in all things rental-related and will be aware of what can go wrong when an address is empty and how to plan and prepare to make sure your property is properly protected.