Keep a vacant property safe

13 Mar, 2022

Keep a vacant property safe

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If for some reason you need to leave a property vacant for a period of time you may be somewhat anxious. Every homeowner who has to step away from their property, whether for a holiday or for other reasons needs to take precautions. It is important to remember that there are ways to keep a vacant property safe.

Whether you choose to find a housesitter to help or ask the neighbours, read on to learn our top tips on minimising issues of what happens when a house sits vacant.

Keep a Vacant Property Safe and Secure

keep a vacant property safe
An empty property is vulnerable all year round. In Winter it’s easy to detect vacant property

There is any number of reasons you might have a vacant property. For example, you could be in the process of moving, and you haven’t sold your old home yet. Another reason might be that the new residents haven’t moved in yet.

You might buy an investment property that’s vacant, or it could be a family property that you’re trying to repurpose. You need to work out how to maintain a vacant house. Long term vacancies are a poor choice for example leaving a house empty for a year poses various particular threats.

Regardless of the specifics, the following are key tips for keeping a vacant property safe and secure.

Let the Neighbors Know What’s Going On

If a vacant property is surrounded by neighbors, they can be great resources and support. Neighbours can help for securing the property, particularly if you keep them in the loop. Let the neighbors know why the property is vacant, what kind of activity they can expect there, and what your timelines might look like.

It’s always good to have eyes and ears on the property, and you should give them your contact information in case they see anything.

Consider finding housesitters

One of the best ways to keep a vacant property safe for either short or long periods is finding suitable and trusted housesitters. Alternatively what happens when a hose sits vacant is it becomes vulnerable to intruders, bad weather can cause damage which if left unattended creates issues with insurers and adds cost to maintenance.

reliable housesitting service
Welcome checked and trusted housesitters into your home to keep a vacant property safe

What is a house sitter?

A house sitter is someone whom you choose to care for your home and pets while living in your home. Their duties can vary and expand according to your requirements, their skill sets and amenability.

It is good to know that while you are away on holiday or if you are absent for significantly longer periods you can have peace of mind. You know there is someone there to keep your home safe. Start by looking for housesitters to help you, they help to keep a vacant property safe.

How do you find house sitters and pet sitters to help?

But how do you find the sitters already checked and with home care experience? Look no further, we at can help you to find suitable sitters that are already checked and with experience.

These days there are a range of housesitting platforms like Housesitmatch that offer wide access to pre-checked house and petsitters through a managed network.

General Security Tips

The following are some quick tips for securing a property during a period of relatively short vacancy:

affordable home
Find a way to keep the lights on even if the property is empty
Before you go away
  • Don’t advertise it. For example, if your home is going to be empty for a while, or you have another property that will be, don’t directly or indirectly allude to it on social media. Social media is one of the primary ways criminals get information. Limit your social profiles in general.
  • Try to take steps to make the property look occupied if you can. For example, if you have an extra car you don’t drive every day, maybe you park it in the driveway from time to time. You can also use timers to turn lights on and off.
  • Go over your door and window locks, upgrading or repairing them if necessary.
  • Someone, whether it’s you, a friend or family, or a professional you hire, should check the property on a consistent basis. You might hire a mobile security patrol unit if you don’t have someone who can personally check on the property. If they’re going on a regular basis, if something is amiss, they can report it quickly, so the problem doesn’t get worse.
During your absence
  • Find a housesitter through a reliable network like They will keep your property occupied and deter opportunist burglars
  • Depending on the situation, you might need to give a spare key to someone, like a neighbor, or again, someone you hire. In case something happens, they’ll need to be able to get in.
  • Depending on what’s in the vacant property and what the overall risk is, you might consider installing a camera and alarm system.
  • External lighting is a major deterrent to people who would otherwise break into a property of any kind. Keep all external areas well-lit and use automated timers or sensors.
  • A good idea can be buying insurance. Vacant home insurance can protect you if there’s damage from a disaster like a fire or hail, and also vandalism. If you currently have an insurance provider, they might be able to bundle in the vacant home insurance.
  • In some situations, it might be appropriate to board up a vacant property. Some insurance policies will require it.
  • Keep the property maintained, including the lawn. If a home isn’t well-maintained, it’s going to look vacant, and that’s not what you want.
Take a Different Approach for a Short-Term vs. Long-Term Vacant Property
Burglars operate at night and during the day

If you have a property vacant over the short term, some of the strategies for securing it are going to be simpler than if you have a long-term vacancy.

If you’re trying to secure a long-term vacant property, maintenance also remains important. You may have to hire a company that will come weekly or every other week.

Security screens

There are security screens you can install that help to keep a vacant property safe. These screens will add an additional layer of protection to windows and doors that might otherwise be vulnerable to intruders. For example, there are roller shutter screens.

These are pretty easy to install, and you can roll them up and let light in when you prefer.

This tends to be a popular choice when someone has a vacation home they don’t go to for long periods.

Mesh security screens

Another way to keep a vacant property safe is using mesh security screens; they offer security, and they can also let light in. These can form part of the best security system for empty home.

Final thoughts on how to keep a vacant property safe

Finally, another question what to do with utilities when house is vacant.  The answer is if at all possible, leave the services on. That includes electricity, and maybe the internet. Then, you can make sure that lights, security systems, cameras, and surveillance systems are able to keep functioning and keep a housesitter to oversea that all is well in your absence.

It’s an added expense but less expensive than dealing with something happening at the property.


Further reading on housesitting and housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

Property housesitters or vacant selling?

What is House Sitting?



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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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