Did you know?
Unoccupied properties are not protected against squatters by the law.
3000 Property Services can provide an on-site patrol service that will act as a visible deterrent against threats to the vacant property.
Included possible threats to an empty property are:
Over one thousand cases of metal theft that is occurring each week costs Britain in excess of £1 billion each year.
A large loss to owners who had been insured by Zurich rose from £138,000 in 2004 to £1.93,000,000 in 2011.
The materials at risk in vacant properties are copper boilers, piping infrastructure, water tanks, electrical cables, stainless steel and aluminium sinks, roof tiles, radiators etc.
Recent years have seen manhole covers and public art being stolen.
The result of stolen metal can lead to significant damage in water systems not being isolated or walls and ceilings being destroyed when cables have been stolen.
Squatters can become a hassle in empty buildings, and often are costly and time-consuming to take care of.
There have been some court cases where squatters have lost their right to remain in the property, however, prior to the eviction they have caused extensive damage to the building.
Although, once a squatter has been removed, the vacant building is once again vulnerable; the law will no protect the property from gaining any more squatters.
On 1st September in the year of 2012, it became a criminal offence to trespass in a residential property with the intention of living there.
The value of the building can be damaged by dilapidation having risen from unobserved leaks, pest infections, mould and internal condensation.
Alarm systems, metal screens and boarding up won’t protect a property from this type of deterioration.
Naturally, these damages can extend the time a building will be left vacant as it would deter the interest of buyers and new tenants.
Unoccupied properties have been recent targets of illegal dumping of construction waste, unwanted clothes, furniture and abandoned vehicles.
Properties will be cleared at the beginning of contracts, thus preventing fly-tipping with patrols and a visible security presence.
Theft and Criminal Damage
Further damage can be encouraged with vacant properties if broken windows are visible, along with other signs of poor maintenance.
The Occupier’s Liability Act places a duty of care on property owners so to protect the public from any dangers that may occur on their premises.
Meaning property owners should be taking the reasonable steps in protecting authorised and unauthorised visitors.
For more information about property maintenance and all of the services we offer, please visit our website.