What happens to a vacant property after the last tenants moved out and there are no signs of new occupants moving in? Managing vacant property may prove much tougher than it seems.
A recent survey carried out by SitexOrbis shows that the top three most important issues whilst managing vacant property are security, loss of rental income and empty property tax. Other key concerns included maintenance and compliance with insurance stipulations.
The recession has resulted in increased numbers of vacant commercial properties. The amount of available office accommodation in the city of London has gone up by 90 per cent between mid 2008 and mid 2009. Company and retail closures across Britain have repeated the same pattern in most major cities.
Many commercial property owners report a rise in squatting, vandalism, arson and break-ins; insurers are reporting an increase in large-scale fires. More than 50 per cent of landlords are unsure about the health and safety regulations for vacant properties.
The other concern is keeping properties in a fit condition for viewing and attracting new tenants. Landlords have to invest in protection solutions such as wireless alarms and other electronic security measures in order to tackle problems of squatters, criminal damage, arson and graffiti.
The property has to be inspected regularly and monitored 24/7 to ensure that standards are maintained. Other means of security measures are man-guarding, perimeter fencing, CCTV, battery operated alarms and security screens.
It is worth mentioning that it is a legally binding obligation to inform the insurers when a building (part or whole) becomes vacant.
Visit www.hse.gov.uk or read our Health and Safety Checklist for further information on Health and Safety regulations for vacant properties.