Void periods are the eternal enemy of the landlord, but not just because they create serious financial problems. An empty property will very easily attract thieves, squatters and vandals and can deteriorate very quickly. All of this means a lot of work for a landlord. Aside from unoccupied property insurance, one of the best ways of protecting an unoccupied property is to light it well. Good lighting can make your house look occupied and can easily deter anyone from attempting to enter. How can it be done?
The first trick is to use timer lights which set the lights to come on at a regular hour. Use these from 7-11pm and between 7-9am and it should help to give the impression your property is in use. You can also set these timers to work on the TV, radio and other electrical items and it can be very effective at keeping out unwanted visitors.
Equally, outdoor security lights can have a good effect. Motion sensors in the lights turn them on when someone approaches and they will illuminate the property so it’s possible to see who is nearby. You’ll need to couple security lights with a good neighbour who is prepared to keep an eye on your property and who has your number to get in touch if there is anything suspicious going on.
Of course, security is one issue, but cost is another. Make sure any lights that don’t impact upon the appearance of your property are turned off, particularly in lofts or basements. Not only will a light that has been left on cost you in terms of your energy bill but it will eventually blow the bulb. This can be a dead giveaway to someone that the property hasn’t been occupied for some time.
It’s important to think about the little things when it comes to unoccupied property and an hour’s thought can really save you from disaster in the long run. Invest in a few timer lights, put up a security light and make sure your neighbours are well informed: no amount of lights will spot a thief but the local neighbourhood might just help you out.