Risks of Leaving Your Commercial Property Unmanned & How to Mitigate Them

The world is currently facing unprecedented circumstances because of the spread of the Corona Virus that is affecting the way people work and go about their daily business. Business owners have been forced to adopt new working practices to ensure that everything works just as usual. Also, the health and wellbeing of their staff and clients are the businesses’ number one priority. This has seen business owners have to allow most of their employees to work from home; thus, most work is being emptied. On the other hand, clubs and restaurants have remained closed as one of the requirements to flatten the curve.

Vacant properties cost property owners money in lost rental income and can be targeted by squatter, thieves and vandals. The costs related to theft and property damage can rack up considerably, putting a dent to the landlord’s income. There are ways your building can be protected even when you are not there. Here are some of the biggest threats to your unmanned facility and how you can prevent them.

Crime and vandalism

Empty buildings are attractive targets to criminals even when they are vacant with no assets inside. Even with an empty room, thieves can still go in and find a way to make a quick buck. The copper piping and radiators, electric wiring, and such are all considered valuable to thieves. So, they are likely to rip your building apart and sell these for scrap. Such properties also can attract delinquents and vandals who could end up damaging the property. Your business is not ready for unnecessary and unplanned repairs; therefore, here is how you could prevent this from happening.

Mitigation tips

• Fix locks and door reinforcements in all the entry and exit points
• Board up the windows and doors if premises will stay vacant for a long period
• Invest in a security service or an alarm response service. With such a service, they will have to think twice before trespassing your premises.


It is illegal to squat in a residential property in the UK since 2012. This law never applies to commercial landlords and their commercial property. Therefore, if, by chance, squatters invade your empty commercial building, you will face many challenges to get rid of them since the law does not work in your favour. This is a persuasive issue in the UK, especially in the South East and London, and there is no sign that this law will be reviewed soon. When squatters invade your vacant residential property, this will still be a big issue at hand because the process of having them kicked out would be lengthy, expensive and complicated.

Mitigation tips

  • Secure your commercial property with an alarm system
  • Disconnect utilities
  • Do regular checks to check for any sign of attempted entry
  • Hire a security patrol service to check the empty property
  • Hire a security guard to look after the building, 24 hours

Fire and water damage

Fire and floods can cause severe damage to your unmanned property, whether it is caused accidentally or intentionally. This can leave you out of pocket and cause your business not to reopen at the opportune time. While properties are at risk of suffering burst pipes and water damage during the cold seasons, an arsonist can also build a fire.

These risks can be taken care of by:

Mitigation tips

  • Leave your heating system on a timer
  • Drain water from the heating system
  • Cut the water supply at the mains
  • Invest in a key holding service to access the property 24/7