Keep your unoccupied rental property safe

2 Dec, 2020

Keep your unoccupied rental property safe

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Those who invest in properties for holiday or vacation rentals often start because there is a desire to invest. As a homeowner and an investment property owner you need to ensure you manage the properties carefully to minimise the risks. One of the main challenges is maintaining constant occupancy to keep your investment running and minimise risks related to an empty property.

Here we have a blog to help you keep your unoccupied rental property safe.

Biggest Risks of Unoccupied Rental Properties and How to Keep Them Safe

unoccupied rental property
An empty property is always susceptible to break-ins

It seems like now, everyone is looking to get into the rental property business. It’s understandable why so many people are interested being that it’s one of the most lucrative ways to generate passive income there is! The only thing wrong with it is that people don’t take the time to look at the industry in its entirety.

What is vacant rental?

A vacant rental is an unoccupied rental property like the many we see around us. It is untapped potential, an under optimised asset and a vulnerable liability if left vacant for too long.

Rental properties need to be managed

When most people look at investing in rental properties, they only think about the “good” part. Yes, they consider the short-term rental financing options, location of the property, and how to decorate it (which is the fun stuff).

All too often, however, they tend to forget about the risks involved with owning short-term rental properties.

A good question to ask regarding your property if there are gaps in the rental calendar is how long can a rental property be vacant ?

What are the risks

The biggest risk associated with a rental property is its potential to be left vacant.

What if you bought a rental property but you bought it in a questionable neighborhood, so nobody wants to rent it out?

And what if you bought a rental property and pitched the rent too high, so no one wants to rent it out?

Then there is the danger of getting bad reviews on your property from renters. What if no one wants to vacation there?

These are all possible scenarios that could cause your rental property to sit vacant for a long time, leaving it open to all kinds of threats.

Before purchasing a vacation rental property, make sure you have systems in place to ensure it will be booked continuously. Not doing so will leave your property at risk for these types of dangers.

Housesitters will maintain an empty property

It may seem an obvious solution to some but remember you can always find checked housesitters to protect your unoccupied rental property. Many owners of vacation rentals use free housesitters from a network like to move into the vacation rental and ensure all systems are working and that no intruders attack the property.

Housesitters can also work on the garden and maintain the place to a good presentable standard. That means that when the season kicks in and you can rent it out again you hit the ground running.

Potential Threats to Your Unoccupied Rental Property

unoccupied rental property
Any unoccupied rental property in a rural location is especially vulnerable


Vandalism is deliberate, senseless destruction or damage to public or private property. Any unoccupied rental property is vulnerable. Things like graffiti, tee-peeing, and breaking windows are all acts of senseless vandalism… A vacant property is just like putting a big sign in the front yard saying this house needs a makeover.

In most cases, vandalizing a home has nothing to do with the owner either… it’s just simply a night of fun for some, regardless of it being at the expense of the owner.


Burglars are a lot smarter than you may think. They look for signs that show when a home is vacant, and so any unoccupied rental property is considered fair game. Unfortunately, if you own a property that’s not occupied, your property has then become a burglary hot spot. And with the property being a vacation rental, it will have things that renters need. So you’ll probably have items inside like televisions, Bluetooth speakers, and other valuable items that would be a great catch for a burglar.

Even non-typical valuable items like aluminium pipes and components from AC units are all things that burglars look for. Vacant properties can be easy targets. There are, of course, ways to prevent burglars from intruding but the fact that they know the property is vacant means that one failed attempt only means return visits until you get the property occupied.


For some reason, people tend to think that just because no one lives in a property that they can just come in and take it over. And believe it or not, in certain cities, there are certain laws that actually protect squatters! So when you try to get them to leave, and they won’t, you then have a real problem on your hands and may have to get authorities involved.


fire risk
Manage fire risks and prepare for what to do in case of fire. Avoid leaving a property unoccupied for too long

With an unoccupied rental property, fire is more of a danger than you might think. Arson is certainly a threat that will make you wonder how is it that people enjoy setting homes on fire… There’s no reason behind it, and again, this type of crime and damage to a property is just as senseless as vandalism… all for a good time.

The other threat of fire comes from squatters lighting candles if there is no electricity in the home. Fires can also start with a faulty heating system. Make sure you undertake regular maintenance to minimise the risks.

Water Damage at your unoccupied rental property

Water damage can easily go undetected especially in an unoccupied rental property. This happens if a pipe bursts for example, and floods the home or from storm damages.

Despite your property being vacant, you still need to check on the property often. These checks for water damage will minimise the impact of any damage. Because the longer it goes unchecked, the longer it becomes vulnerable to mould and pest infestations, which will cause your property to be vacant even longer.

In the event of water damage, it’s crucial to take immediate action and enlist the services of water removal companies such as Drymore, as these professionals have the expertise and equipment to efficiently extract the water, mitigate further damage, and prevent the development of mold and pest issues.

They can provide reliable and efficient solutions, giving you peace of mind and helping you restore your property to its pre-damage condition.

Make an effort to purchase a vacation property in a nice area that will appeal to renters. Market it well to appeal to potential guests to keep your property occupied. Avoid leaving it as an unoccupied rental property if you possibly can. The more bookings you have, the less likely it is for your unoccupied rental property will succumb to these threats.


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.

Keep a vacant property safe and secure

Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

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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