Skip To Content

Dealing With Vacant Properties

Dealing With Vacant Properties

If you think that owning a vacant property is less work than handling a property with people in it, then think again. A vacant property can be much more stressful due to the additional property safety and maintenance items to consider. In this article, we would like to talk about how you can deal with a vacant property in a much safer and hassle-free way.

Most of the vacant and abandoned properties around the country seemingly looks like open invitations for criminals, vandals, squatters, trespassers, fires, rats, and illegal activities. It can also be intriguing and dangerous for children roaming around the neighborhood. In addition to these threats, it can raise up health and safety concerns, and also a bad message such as abandonment, disorder, and a lowering of neighborhood standards.

Of course, not all vacant properties intend to be like that on purpose. Some of them just run into hard luck, including foreclosures, court proceedings, estate settlements or heirs who just don’t know what to do with the property.

The more time a property remains vacant, the more it becomes difficult to attract and gain new tenants or owners, and the more expensive it is to keep its property value high. If the renovation costs exceed the failing property value, it can begin an irreversible fall, taking all the surrounding properties with it.

Most people with just one look can identify a vacant property, but ironically, even the U.S. Census Bureau has a hard time defining it. Their definition only includes newly constructed units that has not been yet occupied. They have no definition for abandoned buildings.

While the Vacant Properties Campaign defines abandoned properties as vacant residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and lots that exhibit one or both of the following traits:

  • The site poses a threat to public safety (meeting the definition of a public nuisance), or
  • The owners or managers neglect the fundamental duties of property ownership (e.g., they fail to pay taxes or utility bills, default on mortgages, or carry liens against the property.)
  • Vacant industrial properties may have particular complications of redevelopment and clean-up associated with potential contamination on those properties.

Maintaining a vacant property’s safety, cleanliness, and free from vandalism should be the highest priorities. Here are few tips in keeping control of the situation while trying to attract tenants or buyers to the building.

Make it look like someone is there

Use smart window shades and/or lighting that works on a schedule. Fake TV and radio sounds within the vacant property can also reduce the attempt of burglars, squatters, or trespassers. Parking a car in the driveway on frequent occasions could also help. Frequently empty-up the mail pile up in the mail box.

Install motion sensors

Outdoor lightings nowadays include a technology called motion sensors that flick on when someone passes by around the premises. They can also make the property look like someone is there since it would constantly light up whenever something or someone passes by.

Continue a landscaping schedule

As it was said in this article that maintaining a property to help increase its value or its potential for rental consumers is one of the reasons why dealing with a property is important. In regards to that, a landscape schedule would make sure that the grass is mowed and the tress and bushes are trimmed. If a property looks abandoned on the outside, it will be assumed that it is vacant on the inside.

Conduct frequent inspections

Also in the note of maintaining a vacant property, conducting a scheduled inspection on the property is to be done to ensure the property’s value remains solid until it is in use again. This would also open opportunities to see, prevent, or confront problems with the property.

Keep in touch with neighboring properties

Those nearby your property will respect you if you give enough care to show concern for it, even if you do not go there. Talk to them. Give them your phone number for a quick notification if there’s trouble. If there is a nearby neighborhood gathering, show up and make connections.

Contact your insurance company

In some cases, there are people who got harmed or injured on someone else’s vacant property and got sued! Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure to stay in touch with your insurance company and always prove to them that you’re constantly conducting your property management responsibilities all the while the property remains vacant. You can also ask for an unoccupied property insurance.

Hire a property manager

Don’t have the time to be stressed up and be too hands-on with your vacant property? Hire a property manager. A good property manager would do all the work for you and what’s great is, they can also set your property available for rent and would help you from preparing your property, to screening tenants, up to the point where you would only wait for the rent fees to be wired into your bank account. The property management team at Realty One Group, Inc offers the best services in Northern Arizona at Competitive Rates and is a full-service property management company specializing in property management services throughout the greater Flagstaff area, servicing single family residential rental homes, multiplexes, condos, town homes, and mid to long term vacation rentals.


Dealing a vacant property really is a lot of work, but with the right people and the right help, you would benefit from it in the long term.

Know more about Realty One Group, Inc!