As of the end of 2015, there were over 610,000 long-term vacant residential properties in England, according to government figures. Add this to the 30,000 plus properties in Scotland, and over 23,000 empty homes in Wales, and that’s a lot of houses which are left unoccupied for 6 months or more. In a time when there is widespread concern about housing shortages, why would people choose to leave their properties vacant?
Reasons for a building being unoccupied:
- Some properties, especially those in fashionable and expensive parts of London, are purchased by rich investors and simply left. Perhaps these property owners have no need to pursue a rental income, and simply sit back and watch the value of their property increasing while it’s empty.
- Properties may be bought by individuals or developers as a project to do up and sell on for a profit. The owner may then struggle to fund the necessary work to make the property habitable, and it therefore remain vacant until their personal situation changes.
- If a property is inherited, especially if there are joint beneficiaries, it can take considerable time to make a decision about its future ownership. Perhaps the family of the previous owner will move in, perhaps they’ll sell the house, or maybe they’ll maintain their inheritance and offer it for rent.
Security for Long-Term Vacant Properties
A building, whether domestic, industrial or commercial, is usually classed as long-term vacant by insurance companies if it has been empty and unoccupied for longer than six months. If this is the case, a typical buildings and contents insurance policy will not be sufficient to cover the property in the event of damage caused by fire, flood, trespass or vandalism. Empty properties are by their nature at a higher risk, and therefore security is a top concern for property owners.
With developments in technology, maintaining the safety and security of unoccupied properties is becoming easier and more effective. Rather than employing a costly physical security presence on-site, or a patrolling security guard, property owners who use services like those we offer for vacant properties here at Compound Security Specialists can benefit from cost-effective, reliable, high-tech security.
Our service includes a survey and compliance work to ensure our security measures are sufficient for your insurance needs, along with regular inspections and the installation of a top-quality security system. Our battery-powered alarm works without the need for a power supply or telephone line, with NSI Gold-standard monitoring and a rapid response upon activation. You’re protected against disasters like fires or flooding as well as damage arising from a break-in. It’s now easier, and more affordable, than ever to maintain a vacant property in the UK, protecting your asset and providing complete peace of mind.