Many people wrongly assume that because a building is empty then nothing much can go wrong. After all, you have removed everything from the premises and secured it with locks and even alarms. But it is a false security – vacant business premises are at significant risk in many ways. If your business premises are vacant or will be in the near future, take a look at these potential risks so you can safeguard your investment.
- Theft from Empty Property
When people know a business premises is empty and unoccupied, it is a greater target for theft. Thieves know that their likelihood of being caught is slim, even if there is an alarm system installed. The building may not have any contents but there are still metal fittings, pipes, and other components that are attractive to thieves.
- Fire Risk to Vacant Property
Vacant Property is also at greater risk of fire than an occupied building. Wiring and fittings are not regularly checked and if someone turns on the electricity or gas by mistake it could cause a problem. Vacant properties are also a magnet for squatters who may light fires inside the building in the winter. And you also have the risk of fire from rubbish collecting outside that could be ignited by a cigarette thrown by a passer-by.
- Vandalism Concerns
One of the most common concerns with vacant business or residential property is vandalism. People will cause significant amounts of damage to a building if they are allowed access, such as breaking windows, graffiti, breaking doors, and destroying fittings.
- Risk of Squatting and Trespassing
An empty building is a magnet for squatters and trespassers who may enter the property to live. The risks are great, from the risk of fire and damage to the property, to the risk of people using the property for illegal purposes. You will also have to deal with waste left behind should the people leave.
- Damage from the Weather
It is not so easy to protect an empty property from the weather. Cold and hot temperatures can damage the exterior of a building and snow, wind, and rain may result in broken walls, cracked exteriors, flooding, and damp. When you are not living or working in the property it is harder to monitor for windows left open, broken glass that lets in snow, or broken and frozen pipes. Checking for damage to a building is time consuming, particularly when the premises is large.
You can take steps to safeguard a property when you are leaving it empty. And the property guardian scheme is also helpful when you want someone to actually live in the building, protecting it by being present in the premises and reporting any issues or damage.
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