All properties require ongoing maintenance and care, but when you’re not there to keep an eye on things, the safety and security of your property may be at greater risk.
You may be a landlord with a void in the tenancy or own a holiday home that you only use in the Summer season. Perhaps you’re working or travelling abroad for an extended period of time, leaving your apartment or house unoccupied. Whatever the circumstances, vacant properties present a number of risks to landlords and owners.
The following are the most prevalent risks to vacant properties:
1. Theft and Vandalism
Vacant properties are ideal for thieves or malicious individuals. Burglars tend to steal appliances, furniture, lighting fixtures and in some cases even aluminum and copper components. Let’s not forget that certain individuals create chaos for joy and will find great pleasure in destroying your property for fun.
How to protect your property
It is best to install a home security system that will allow you to monitor your property remotely. Adding motion lights and timed lights will give the impression that somebody is occupying the space.
Empty properties are incredibly attractive to squatters — they assume because nobody has moved in, they should be the ones to do so. A squatter will take it upon themselves to fill up your vacancy for you, and the only problem is that they are not ideal tenants.
Reminder: Upon certain circumstances, if they stay long enough, they can develop landlord-tenant rights as holdover tenants.
Your best option is to install a home security system that will help you catch them right away. The earlier you find an unauthorized tenant, the better your odds are of getting them out.
3. Water Damage
A big problem with properties in Malta is that water pipes can burst with the heat or water tank float valves get stuck. Water heaters can also leak causing some serious damage to your property. If you do not check on your property regularly, this can be going on for a while also causing damages to your neighbours’ properties.
How to protect against water damage
Switch off your main and tank water supplies, and also all the water heaters. Installing a smart water-leak sensor can lessen the impact of any water leak issue by alerting you the moment they’re detected.
4. Fire Damage
Arson is a frequent issue with properties that are vacant. Or when not arson, injuries can occur from unwanted “guests,” lighting candles at a vacant house with no power. Fires may also break out from a heating system, gas tanks or a short circuit.
How to protect against fire damage
Monitor your security system as much as possible.
Mold growth is a common problem in Malta because of our humid climate. Setting aside any potential health risks associated with indoor mold growth, the ability mold has to cause significant damage to your property is indisputable. When properties are left vacant, all of their windows and doors are closed. This impedes the healthy circulation of air and prevents heat from escaping as it normally would, so mold will start growing inside your property.
Avoiding Mold growth
Detecting and addressing mold growth early can significantly reduce the cost to remediate and repair damage caused by mold. However, left unaddressed, mold will eventually destroy everything it grows on. Installation of ventilation systems, air-movers and regular inspections should keep the mold problems at bay.
Many property owners undermine the many risks of leaving a property vacant for far too long. An experienced property manager can ease the burden of having to deal with vacant properties while keeping such risks at minimum levels.
Buena Vista’s Vacant Property Protection Services
As experienced partners to landlords and property owners, we understand the importance of keeping your property safe and secure during void periods.
As part of our services, we offer essential key holding services to check for any damage and arrange for swift repairs. Whether you are a landlord living overseas or a busy owner with a vacant property, our dedicated team is on hand to help.
Learn more our vacant property protection services.