Boarded up, locked & secured – job done?
So, you’ve got a vacant property. You have boarded or locked it up and secured it, so it’s sorted until it is occupied again, right? Wrong. Although securing your property is a vital first step to protecting it for the duration of the vacancy, you can’t just leave your property alone and expect all to be ok.
Property owner obligations & insurance
Empty premises must be regularly checked, not only to prevent major potential issues, but to ensure you remain in compliance with your insurance obligations. Not ensuring vacant properties are regularly inspected can lead to huge costs if there are problems and you haven’t been keeping up with your vacant property inspections.
As we all know, insurance policies come with caveats and requirements so on top of informing your insurance company that your property is vacant, you are responsible for carrying out any necessary actions required by the insurance company throughout the period of vacancy. Insurers are likely to issue a list of obligations you must meet to minimise the risk to your property and vacant property inspections are generally the most common requirement.
Duty of care
Whether they are authorised to be there or not, all property owners have an obligation towards any visitors to their property and this includes squatters and burglars. If any injury or damage should occur as a result of the property being neglected, you will be vulnerable to large costs in damages if you are deemed to have failed your duty of care. Regular inspections can prevent these issues before they happen as any weaknesses in building condition or security can be addressed before they cause bigger problems, so any visitors, welcome or unwelcome are not put at unnecessary risk.
Vacant property inspections are most effective when used in conjunction with other security measures like CCTV monitored by security professionals who are ready to attend the property quickly if they spot a potential threat. These together mean any problems that arise from an attempted break in or perhaps a storm can be put right before they cause bigger issues, not only protecting personal safety but ensuring your compliance with insurance requirements.
Evidence of inspections
Remember, it is essential you can show evidence of all inspections should you need it in the future, failure to keep up with vacant property inspections is likely to be considered non-compliance by most insurers and will be used against you should you have to claim. VPIs may seem like a wasted cost but the monetary and legal consequences of not carrying out regular checks are much larger.
Records should be kept in the form of checklists that show all actions carried out during the inspection, records of visit schedules including who is responsible for each task, photos of any potential issues and remedial action taken (before and after), and printed reports of any issues identified and action taken to address them. Security professionals will ensure records of every action are kept so you can have peace of mind your vacant properties are safe and secure.
Here at Foremost Security, our team are experts in all things security. We can assist with vacant property inspections as well as a range of other security solutions including key holding/ alarm response, lock & unlocks, mobile patrols and manned guarding. Let us take the stress out of your vacant property inspections give us a call on 0115 911 0213!