Are you wondering what the difference is between unoccupied and vacant property security? In this article, we will discuss what they are, how to secure them, and the differences between them both!
What Is a Vacant Property?
In September 2019, data shows there were 617,527 empty buildings around the UK. Including 445,310 residential dwellings and 172,217 commercial buildings. Vacant properties are easily distinguishable as they are completely empty, with no people or possessions inside. Examples of vacant properties include:
- New Build Houses
- Empty Houses for Sale
- Cleared Commercial Properties
- Unused Warehouses
- Unfurnished Rental Properties
A vacant property (not including new builds) usually doesn’t get much interest from market buyers as they may be too old or abandoned. However, they usually receive interest from property builders who are willing to renovate.
How Does a Property Become Vacant?
UK regulations defines a vacant property as a property with all furniture removed and left unattended for longer than 30 days. There are different reasons why this may occur:
- The property has been abandoned
- Owners have moved out of the home
- Property is awaiting renovation
- Former tenants have left the property
Properties may become vacant for multiple reasons, whether commercial or residential. The main reason for this happening is usually due to the condition of the property and the owners not being willing or able to fund it.
If you are interested in purchasing a vacant property, it is important to remember that you may not be approved for a mortgage and that you have calculated all the costs beforehand.
What Is Vacant Property Security?
Vacant properties often appeal to thieves, vandals, and intruders as they have been left vulnerable to criminal damage. Recent data shows that there has been a rise in commercial building squatters across the UK.
As anti-squatting laws have made it a criminal offence for squatters to occupy residential buildings, there has since been increased amounts of damage caused to vacant properties which often costs thousands of pounds in damage.
Wondering how to secure your vacant property? Vacant property security services will help ensure that your property is always protected. Security guards can patrol both inside and outside of vacant properties to act as a deterrent to criminals. In the event of a crime occurring, security guards will immediately report the situation and take control to minimise risk.
What Is an Unoccupied Property?
An unoccupied property is described as a property which contains furniture but does not have people present inside it. For example, when the occupants of a property leave to go on holiday it becomes unoccupied. Further examples include:
- Holiday Homes
- Student Accommodation
- Houses for Sale
- Houses for LET
- Refurbished Properties
If your property is going to remain unoccupied for longer than 30 days, it is advised that the contents inside as well as the building itself has the appropriate insurance to cover this.
How Does a Property Become Unoccupied?
The most common way for houses to become unoccupied is when the family residing there leaves for several days at a time. Although, when it comes to other properties such as retail shops or student accommodation it is usually for other reasons.
For example, student accommodation is usually left without people living there when out of season for university students. These properties, however, will still contain furniture and will be used again, therefore, making it unoccupied and not vacant.
How to Secure an Unoccupied Property?
In 2020 to 2021, there were 267,000 burglaries in England and Wales. However, unoccupied properties usually only face short-term risks of crime and vandalism. This means it is not essential to have security guards patrolling the property. Instead of this, you may consider the following security measures:
- Alarm Systems
- Neighbourhood Watch
- Maintaining Areas Around the Building
- Home Insurance
- Secure Locks
There are many ways to help deter crime from an unoccupied property, with all the options ranging in price. It is encouraged that you ask a neighbour or someone close by to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity as this will be the best way to stop crimes from occurring.
What Is the Difference Between Unoccupied and Vacant Properties?
The main difference between unoccupied and vacant properties is that unoccupied properties are almost always guaranteed to be occupied again within 60 days. To decide on whether a property is vacant or unoccupied insurers will check whether it contains the following:
- Cooking Equipment
- Other Furnishings
However, this will vary depending on the insurance company you are dealing with as they will all have different terms and conditions. It is important to have the correct insurance for your property so that you are covered in the event of theft or damage and will not have to pay what could potentially be thousands of pounds.
To summarise, whether a property is identified as vacant or unoccupied is down to the risks that it faces. For example, unoccupied properties still show signs of life which reduces risk whereas vacant properties do not. If you have any thoughts/questions on this topic then please comment down below and make sure to check out our vacant property news page!
It is important to secure your vacant properties, but what is the best way to do this? In this article, we will explain what is considered a vacant property, what is vacant property security, and count down 15 tips on how to secure your property.