Owning a holiday home comes with great responsibility – not only because you need to ensure that your property is attractive to holiday makers, but also because you need to make sure it’s a fortress against crime and other security threats.
Holiday rentals make up a large proportion of the UK private rental sector – between 2007 and 2017, there was an increase of 1.7 million holiday households nationwide.
It’s not only popular holiday towns and villages where holiday rental properties are becoming more prevalent; cities such as Manchester and Edinburgh are also seeing visitors opt for holiday rentals as a cost-effective alternative to hotels.
If you currently own a holiday home or are considering opening one, read our advice about how to protect your rental property with maximum security procedures:
Conducting regular checks on your property, not just when there’s people staying in it, but throughout the year, will ensure that your holiday home is less likely to be broken into. It’s wise to check that all doors and windows are locked securely, that the boiler is working correctly, and that valuables are stored in a locked cupboard or safe.
CCTV cameras are great for allowing you to monitor your premises from any location, 24/7. Cameras can be accessed remotely and can be used to provide evidence in court if a crime takes place.
Instead of hiding spare keys for tenants under flowerpots, doormats or stones, invest in a secure key safe. These can be opened using a PIN code and mean that your keys stay safe and dry without fear of being found by criminals.
Automatic sensor lights can be an extra defence against trespassers and give the impression that your holiday home is being monitored. When triggered, they will make hiding more difficult by emitting powerful beams of light.
Helpful things such as a First Aid kit, fire blanket, torch, extra towels and anything else which you think might be of benefit to guests will be appreciated by anyone who may have accidents or need special care.
Consider investing in an alarm system which can notify yourself or trusted neighbours who can respond to incidents if triggered. Also have regular service checks to ensure alarms are working at all times.
There are many types of insurance cover for your rental property, including: buildings and contents, public liability, loss of rent, underinsurance and unoccupied property insurance. Always check the policy documents so that you are not hit by any no costly surprises.
Unplugging and switching off all electrical equipment can prevent the likelihood of overheating and thus prevent a fire. Check that fire alarm batteries are fully charged and test that they work, especially in the winter when temperatures can affect alarm functionality.
Drain all your pipes before you vacate the property for long periods of time, or simply turn off the water supply. Especially during a cold winter, your holiday home should have a fully operational, thermostat-controlled central heating system that is set to maintain a minimum constant temperature of five degrees Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire building, including the attic. By heating the house, you will stop unfortunate occurrences like freezing pipes and damp.
Secure doors, windows and any other openings which could allow easy access to your holiday home with quality locks and bolts. Outdoor storage areas should be checked all year-round to ensure they haven’t worn away due to weather conditions.
Make a list and take photos of all your contents so that if anything does go missing after a tenant has lived in the property, you will know about it. Also make a note of things which need to be fixed or replaced. By doing so, you will be able to confront any tenants who deny damaging, stealing or replacing your items.
A neighbour, family member, friend or other trusted contact who can keep a set of spare keys to access the holiday home should be considered if your property will be unoccupied for a lengthy period. Ideally choose someone who lives nearby, so that if any incidents do occur, they can swiftly attend to your holiday home. This can also deter criminals as the house will look as though it’s being lived in.
Churchill Security has provided all kind of security solutions for more than 25 years and currently stands in the Top 5% of ACS Approved Security Companies.