Empty property security tips and maintenance tips

Leaving a rental property vacant can expose it to various security risks, including vandalism, theft, and unauthorised occupation. Property owners, including landlords and second home owners, must take proactive steps to protect vacant properties from these threats. In this guide, we provide you with comprehensive guidance on how to secure a vacant property effectively.

Understanding the risks of leaving your property vacant

It’s crucial to understand the potential risks associated with empty buildings. Empty properties can attract unwanted visitors, such as vandals, squatters, and thieves, making them vulnerable to various security issues including:

Vandalism: Vacant rental properties are often targeted by vandals who may deface the premises, causing significant damage.

Theft: Thieves may see vacant rental properties as easy targets for stealing valuable items or even appliances.

Unauthorised Occupation/Squatters: An empty house is attractive to squatters and trespassers who may enter vacant properties and claim residency, leading to eviction hassles and other legal complications for rental property owners.

Fire Hazards: Neglected rental vacant properties can become fire hazards if maintenance and fire safety measures are not in place.

Neighbour Concerns: Neighbours may be concerned about the security and appearance of an unoccupied property, affecting the neighbourhood’s overall safety and property values.

Blue Crystal Property Management can assist with effective ways to secure an empty property, including recommending trusted partners who install access control, alarm systems, CCTV cameras, supply vacant property security and other solutions that can be tailored to your specific needs.

How do you protect an empty house?

Protecting an empty rental property requires a combination of proactive security measures to deter potential threats and regular maintenance to ensure the property remains in good condition. Here are key tips to protect an empty house:

Access Control

  • Replace all locks and keys, ensuring that former tenants or unauthorised individuals cannot gain access.
  • Secure all access points, including gates and basement entrances.
  • Provide keys to trusted individuals only, such as property managers or authorised maintenance personnel.
  • If the property will be vacant for a long period, reinforce windows and doors with steel security screens.

Alarm Systems

  • Install a reliable alarm system with motion detectors and window sensors.
  • Consider audible sirens or strobe lights to deter intruders.
  • Subscribe to a professional monitoring service for immediate response.

CCTV Cameras

  • Place visible CCTV cameras at strategic locations to discourage intruders.
  • Use internet-connected cameras that allow you to view the property in real-time from anywhere.
  • Ensure adequate recording capability for evidence if needed.


  • Install motion-activated outdoor lights to illuminate the property at night.
  • Use timers or smart lighting systems to create the appearance of occupancy.

Regular Inspections

  • Conduct routine inspections to identify and address maintenance issues promptly.
  • Look for signs of break-ins, vandalism, or unauthorised occupation.

Secure Perimeter

  • Fence the property if possible, and ensure gates are locked securely.
  • Trim overgrown vegetation to eliminate potential hiding spots.

Vacant Property Insurance

  • Obtain vacant property insurance to protect against risks like vandalism and theft.
  • Ensure the policy covers the specific needs of your vacant house.

Legal Compliance

  • Familiarise yourself with local laws and regulations regarding vacant properties.
  • Ensure compliance with property maintenance requirements.

Hiring a property management company like Blue Crystal Residential Property Management to oversee the security and maintenance of your empty rental house will give you peace of mind. We can provide expertise in implementing security measures, conducting regular inspections, and ensuring legal compliance. By taking these steps, you can significantly enhance the security of your empty rental property and minimise the risks outlined above.

How do you maintain a vacant property?

Maintaining a vacant rental property is as crucial as securing a vacant property to prevent deterioration, reduce the risk of damage, and ensure its value is preserved. We recommend the following steps:

Regular Inspections

  • Schedule routine inspections to check for signs of damage or maintenance issues.
  • The property should be inspected inside and out, including plumbing, electrical systems, and the roof.

Lawn and Landscaping

  • Arrange for regular lawn care, landscaping, and weed control.
  • Trim trees and bushes to maintain a neat appearance and prevent overgrowth.

Snow and Ice Removal

  • In cold climates, arrange for snow and ice removal to prevent damage and maintain accessibility.

Pest Control

  • Implement pest control measures to prevent infestations.
  • Regularly inspect for signs of pests and take appropriate action if needed.

Plumbing and HVAC Systems

  • Keep the plumbing system functional by running faucets and flushing toilets periodically.
  • Maintain heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to prevent damage from extreme temperatures.

Electrical Systems

  • Ensure the electrical system is safe by periodically testing outlets and switches.
  • Consider installing surge protectors to safeguard against electrical issues.

Roof and Gutters

  • Inspect the roof for leaks and damage, and repair as needed to avoid mould and condensation at the property.
  • Clean gutters to prevent water escape damage and ensure proper drainage.

Windows and Doors

  • Check windows and doors for signs of wear, damage, or broken seals.
  • Repair or replace damaged seals, locks, or glass.


  • Keep utilities like water, gas, and electricity connected to prevent problems associated with disconnection and reconnection.
  • Consider turning off the main water supply and draining pipes in cold climates to prevent freezing.

Safety Measures

  • Ensure the property remains compliant with safety regulations.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly.


  • Clean the interior periodically to prevent dust buildup and maintain air quality.
  • Consider professional cleaning services if necessary.


  • Keep detailed records of inspections, maintenance, and any repairs performed.
  • Document the property’s condition with photos before and after each vacancy.

Neighbour Communication

  • Inform neighbours of the property’s vacancy and provide contact information for property management or emergencies.
  • Ask neighbours to report any suspicious activity.

By following these steps and maintaining a proactive approach, you can help ensure that your vacant rental property remains in good condition, reducing the risk of costly repairs and preserving its value for future use or sale.

Blue Crystal Residential Property Management: Your Security Partner

We offer comprehensive vacant property management services designed to protect your investment and provide peace of mind. These include:

Regular Inspections: Blue Crystal conducts routine inspections to ensure the property remains in excellent condition.

Maintenance: We offer maintenance services to address any issues promptly, preventing potential hazards.

Security Upgrades: Blue Crystal can recommend and implement trusted firms to carry out security upgrades, including access control systems, CCTV cameras, and alarm systems.

Emergency Response: In the event of security breaches or emergencies, our team is ready to respond quickly and efficiently.

Legal Compliance: We are well-versed in local laws and regulations, ensuring your vacant property remains in compliance with legal requirements.

Going overseas? Need rental property management? Call us today.

Securing vacant rental properties is a vital responsibility for property owners and landlords. By implementing access control measures, alarm systems, CCTV cameras, and vacant property insurance, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with unoccupied buildings.

Additionally, partnering with experts like Blue Crystal Residential Property Management can provide you with the support and expertise needed to safeguard your investment effectively. Don’t leave your vacant property vulnerable—take proactive steps to ensure its security and protection.

Book your 30-minute complimentary property consultation by phone: 020 8994 7327 or email: pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk.