Being a landlord comes with a range of costs. Take landlord licencing for instance – according to Direct Line, the average landlord licence in the UK costs £591, and some landlords will have to shell out as much as £1,150. Add property maintenance, estate agent fees and taxes, and the costs can really start to rack up.
Considering all these concerns, the last thing you need is for your property to fall victim to vandalism if it’s left standing empty. Imagine stopping to check on your property and finding broken windows or graffiti. Unfortunately, criminals target property that’s clearly vacant, and they can often do extensive damage. With the price of scrap copper increasingly favourable, it’s no wonder thieves are on the hunt – not to mention the value of white goods or other appliances.
However, there are simple steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen, most of which involve making sure your property doesn’t look unoccupied in the first place – and it needn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Here, we share three simple tips for keeping your property secure and intact.
1. Inspect your property regularly
A key tip is to make sure you’re frequently stopping by to make sure everything is in order with your house or apartment. However, doing a drive-by is unlikely to be sufficient. Make sure you jump out and check for any broken glass, tampered locks or any other evidence of forced entry. Try and get the neighbours on board as well by asking them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Make sure they have your contact details too, so they can alert you as soon as they see anything strange.
2. Make it look like there’s someone home
Opportunists or ‘professional’ thieves will be on the lookout for properties that look empty. Therefore, it’s key to create the illusion that someone is home. For instance, if you own more than one vehicle, keeping one parked on the drive is a convincing way to make it seem like the property is occupied. Equally, leaving a light or two on after you’ve been round for an inspection is a good deterrent that doesn’t cost much.
There are other cosmetic things you can do to make the property look occupied. For instance, make sure that the lawn is mowed and the hedges are trimmed. Equally, don’t allow any mail to accumulate in the letterbox or anywhere visible from the outside. This doesn’t just act as a deterrent to thieves and vandals but it also keeps the property in good condition for prospective tenants.
3. Invest in security equipment
So far, all of the measures we’ve mentioned have been relatively inexpensive. However, if you want to make sure your property is really secure, you can invest in security equipment. That said, this technology isn’t anywhere near as expensive as it once was. Now, you can buy cheap and cheerful mini CCTV cameras that transmit images straight to your smartphone. Of course, a good-old-fashioned motion-detecting security light never goes amiss either.
Protect your property from thieves and vandals
Remember, every time you inspect your property, make sure that all the windows and doors are properly secured. A simple mistake like leaving a window off the latch or forgetting to double-lock the back door could end up costing you thousands of pounds.
However, there are some easy, straightforward steps you can take to protect your property and your interests. As explained, most of these are cosmetic and inexpensive, and ultimately, could save you a lot of money in the long run. Being a landlord comes with enough expense already – so don’t let your property fall victim to vandalism.