Protect your property this summer

Holiday season often means that properties are empty so whether you live in the property or you rent it out, it's important to ensure your investment is protected.

Hurrah! Holiday season is here again, but if you or your tenant is due to be jetting away, or your property is currently empty, there’s a number of things you need to take into consideration that will ensure everything is protected.

 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. 

Anybody home?

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.

Neighbourhood watch

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. Equally important, always ask your tenant to store away valuable items, such as jewellery and games consoles etc, so that they are not on display. 

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.

 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.  

Don't share

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.

Expert advice

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.