Let’s face it! It is nearly impossible to have your property rented all the time. However, in Burbank it is never a good idea to leave it vacant for long; you must get it occupied as soon as you can. There are quite a few reasons for keeping your property occupied apart from keeping the rents flowing in. You might think that by maintaining the property and keeping it up-to-date, it can be left vacant until you find the right tenant, but it isn’t a wise decision. Here’s why it’s risky to leave your property vacant for a long time.
1. Vacant Properties are Preferred Targets of Thieves and Vandals
It is a misconception that vacant properties are safe from theft just because there is nothing to steal, such as furniture. The fact is that a vacant property is as much prone to theft as is an occupied one. Wondering how is it possible?
Don’t forget that the copper wiring, air conditioning units, and heating systems all can be stolen from the property and the unfortunate part is that while doing so, burglars cause massive damage to the unit. There might be many appliances installed on your property, which can be stolen as well. Then there is always the probability of people drawing graffiti art or causing damage to the garden or pathway just for the sake of fun. The best way to remediate the risk of theft is by installing a reliable home security system with which you can monitor the unit remotely. However, this isn’t a very workable solution. Many landlords choose to install motion and timed lights at the property to make it appear inhabited but crooks nowadays are too wicked and would easily identify which property is vacant and which isn’t.
2. Vacant Property is an Inviting Place for Squatters:
An unoccupied property would certainly attract squatters since they can easily figure out whether there is someone living or not. If they find no one, they consider it their right to reside in it. Although you can remove squatters just by asking them to leave, there are times when they refuse to leave the property. Usually, they resume living at the property soon after the landlord leaves. So, squatters can cause a lot of trouble for you especially when they happen to be holdover tenants under landlord-tenant rights, which means the courts would need to be involved in order to remove them.
3. Damages to Interior and Exterior:
Properties that remain vacant become exposed to a variety of damages that can affect the interior and exterior outlook of the unit. For instance, water damage happens quickly, most commonly during the winter season when the pipes are most likely to freeze and burst. The hot water heater can also burst or leak, which can cause flood inside the property. If water-related issues aren’t checked and fixed immediately, your property will start showing signs of seepage and this would eventually affect the entire structure of the unit. Weather is yet another factor that can adversely impact your property. When the cooling system is turned off for extended period, mold can grow and spread quickly. In a vacant property, these issues usually remain unnoticed by the landlord and identified only after a lot of time has elapsed and the damage has been done.
4. Fire Hazard:
When your property is vacant, you need to keep running security checks to identify any prevailing issues in the heating systems. If the heating system is not well-maintained and you have left it turned on, it can cause fire breakout. Then there is the always looming problem of arson, which is common in unoccupied units. Even a minor electrical issue can lead to a fire. So, there is the probability of an accident occurring at the unit, if it is vacant.
5. Insurance Issues:
A majority of standard home insurance policies stop offering coverage when the property remains vacant for 30 days or more because of the increased risk of damages and theft. Although landlord can avail the option of Vacant Home Insurance, it is usually more expensive than the standard policy. The final cost of Vacant Home Insurance will be determined after assessing the coverage amount, property location and associated risk factors. So, that’s not a great option either.
What To Do?
It is dangerous to leave your property vacant for a prolonged period. A professional and responsible team of property managers can help you get the unit rented out immediately and can also perform regular property inspections to help you keep it well-maintained.