8 Tips For Managing A Vacant Commercial Property

11 August 2023, by Verity Editor

empty office

When it comes to the UK’s commercial property market, the surge in vacant properties has become a big concern for landlords and business owners. With the recession and the Covid-19 pandemic having left their mark on the economy, many businesses have downsized or transitioned to remote work, leaving behind empty commercial spaces.

With so many empty properties, effective management of these empty spaces is now vital for ensuring they remain attractive, secure, and ready for potential tenants should the opportunity arise.

In this blog, we’re offering our insights on how to manage your vacant commercial property more effectively and protect your investment.

The Importance of Managing Vacant Commercial Properties

First things first, why is it so important to manage vacant office spaces and commercial facilities in the UK?

Because embracing effective management strategies for vacant commercial properties can offer many short-term and long-term advantages, there’s no short answer to this! However, some key advantages include:

Enhanced property value

Maintaining your property can help preserve its value, making it a more appealing prospect for potential tenants or buyers. Especially in central business districts, business owners want spaces they feel will help their business thrive. This is why once the market recovers, well-maintained properties are often in high demand and are better positioned to charge premium rates.

Reduced vacancy periods

Proactive management of commercial spaces also helps minimise the time your property remains vacant. By optimising your property management efforts, you increase your chance of finding quality occupants more quickly.

Mitigated liability risks

By implementing proper security measures, you significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries on your property, mitigating potential legal risks. Under the 1957 and 1984 Occupiers Liability Act, landlords can be held liable for injuries to trespassers on their property. Therefore, proactive management is not just about financial benefits; it’s also about ensuring safety and avoiding potential liabilities.

Cost savings

By taking proactive steps to manage your property effectively and prevent damage and vandalism, you can also save a considerable amount on repairs and restoration. This means you’ll have more resources available to invest in making your property even more attractive to potential tenants.

Tips for Managing a Vacant Commercial Property:

Managing vacant commercial property can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know how long the property will be empty. However, to help ensure your space remains in top condition, we suggest:

1. Investing in reliable alarms

It’s always a good idea to keep your empty property protected with reliable alarms that will notify you of any issues, such as intrusions or potential hazards. We suggest opting for mains-fed alarms to avoid the risk of the batteries running out — offering you continuous peace of mind!

Tip: Some commercial property owners choose to employ vacant property security specialists or other vacant property services. However, these services can be expensive, so be sure to ask neighbouring premises owners which security companies they’re using and see if a combined deal can be offered.

2. Installing CCTV cameras

A higher level of vacant property security can be achieved by installing CCTV cameras that offer remote monitoring. This will act as a deterrent to potential intruders and can help ensure your property appears visibly cared for at all times, even when empty!

With recorded footage, these cameras can also be useful for providing evidence should any issues arise, adding an extra layer of safety.

3. Creating a perimeter and installing security screens

When it comes to keeping your empty property secure, you can take security up a notch with perimeter fencing and security screens. This can effectively prevent unauthorised access and showcase your commitment to maintaining a safe environment.

4. Using non-setting paint

Even though there are vacant properties all over the UK, commercial property owners often lack the level of security residential areas have, with neighbours reporting trouble in close-knit local communities.

This is why a good way to discourage intruders is by using anti-vandal or anti-climb paint, also known as non-setting paint. Applying it to vulnerable areas can help keep trespassers at bay, protecting your property from potential damage and anti-social behaviour.

5. Ensuring your property is well-lit

Illuminating key areas (such as external doorways and windows) with concentrated lighting can help deter intruders and enhance overall visibility for improved security. Good lighting also helps ensure your property doesn’t fade into the background, with potential occupants seeing a well-lit property as a safe place to position their business.

6. Draining water tanks and pipes

During cold weather, you can minimise the risk of water damage and pipes cracking by properly draining water tanks and pipes. This will also help ensure an uninterrupted water supply when the property is occupied again and reduce the chances of expensive repairs due to burst pipes or water leaks.

7. Removing combustible materials

To create a safer environment when your property is empty, it’s recommended that you remove combustible materials. This will significantly reduce the risk of fire hazards and potential vandalism and safeguard your property from harm.

8. Effectively managing your bills

In addition to general safety and vacant property protection measures, it’s also important to ensure your empty property isn’t running up any unnecessary bills. Especially when it comes to empty rates, it’s vital to take control of these costs and not be left with any nasty surprises or hefty bills along the way.

To do this, you can team up with Verity — your partner in reducing your empty rates and helping you pay nothing at all! From the initial consultation to filing the last piece of paperwork, we can help you navigate the complexities of business rates and mitigate unnecessary expenses, providing you with financial clarity and peace of mind while your property is vacant.

To learn more about what Verity can do for you as a business or property owner, request a callback from a member of our expert team today.

I have used Verity for several years and I am happy to recommend them. They provide an efficient service in a timely manner.

John Roberts

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