Reducing the Risk of Squatters Moving into your Unoccupied Property
Can you imagine the horror of a squatter living in your house? A squatter is a person who resides in an abandoned or empty property rent-free, whereby the owner’s permission has not been given, commonly without the owner even knowing about the squatter’s intention to occupy the property. You might even be unaware of the squatters presence, maybe you’ve just inherited the property and they’ve jumped on the opportunity whilst it’s been empty. Squatters may be opportunists; however there are also organised networks whereby advice is given to potential and existing squatters, with specific properties often being discussed.
Prevention is likely to be a much cheaper option than evicting house squatters, such as the costs incurred from taking legal action to remove them, and the potential damage to the property incurred whilst the squatter is in residence. There are many things that you can do to reduce the risk of squatters moving in, for instance:
- Ensuring that your house is always secure when empty. Good quality window and door locks should be fitted and in use.
- Installing and activating an alarm. A company approved by either the Security Systems Alarm and Inspection Board or the National Security Inspectorate should be used.
- Making the property look like it is occupied, such as leaving lights and a radio on, changing the positioning of curtains, and having people regularly visit the property.
- Performing frequent inspections of the property for any damage, vandalism or break-ins.
- Ensuring that all but the essential services are turned off. Without general amenities, the property may not look attractive to prospective squatters.
- Leasing out your property rather than leaving it empty. This should be done with caution, whereby references are checked prior to agreeing to let the property to a prospective tenant to ensure they are reputable.
If your property is unoccupied for a significant amount of time and at risk from squatters, you may also find you are not covered by your property insurance policy and require another one, or additional clauses added to your existing one, as insurance companies also see vacant properties as a risk.
Squatting is on the increase, with most squatting occurring in London. At Sell My House – Fast – London, we may be able to help you keep your unoccupied property safe and avoid squatters. We can provide you with a hassle-free and guaranteed selling solution that we feel will provide you with the reassurance that any attempt by a person to squat will be quickly stopped in its tracks.Further advice on how to avoid squatters can be found online. For details on how Sell My House – Fast – London can help you avoid or remove squatters, either complete the form on the Contact Us page