Risks of Having a Vacant Rental Property

Having a vacant rental property can be stressful for landlords, as they’re not having any rent coming in, are worrying about the security of their property, and wondering what additional costs they may have to bear!

Keeping track of the risks associated with having a vacant property is essential. However, when these risks are considered and prepared for appropriately, the prevalence of a vacant rental property can be manageable for your business and finances.

In this blog post, we'll explore the potential pitfalls of having empty rented spaces on your hands and offer tips to help keep your home safe.

Higher Risk of Vandalism and Theft

Vacant rental properties are more likely to become targets for vandalism and theft, causing significant damage to a property and resulting in expensive repairs.

They may also steal fixtures or other items from the property. Thieves may attempt to break into the property and steal valuable items such as furniture and appliances.

Tips to Prevent Vandalism and Theft

Taking steps to secure a vacant rental property will help discourage vandalism and theft. Install security cameras, motion-activated lights, or a monitored alarm system. Make sure the windows and doors are securely locked.

Squatters Moving In

Another risk of having a vacant rental property is the possibility of squatters moving in. Squatters are people who illegally occupy an unoccupied building without permission from the owner. They may enter through open windows or doors or even break into a property.


Once they have moved in, it can be challenging to remove them as they may attempt to claim legal rights to the property if they stay for a certain amount of time. If squatters move into a rental property, it’s essential to take immediate action.

Tips to Safeguard Your Vacant Property Against Unwanted Guests

Secure all windows and doors immediately to prevent squatters from entering the property. If a security system has not been installed, it may be wise to do so for added protection. If squatters have already moved in, contact the police and an attorney immediately.

Arson and Accidents

The risk of a vacant rental property is not limited to vandalism and squatters. Vacant properties are also vulnerable to fires due to arson or accidents.

Heating systems that aren't well maintained can become overheated, which could lead to an explosion if combustible materials are nearby.

Intruders may also purposely set fires in a vacant rental property. In addition, smokers who forget to put out cigarettes near an unoccupied building may unintentionally start fires.

Tips for Reducing Fire Risks in Vacant Rentals

Regularly inspect heating systems and products such as stoves or space heaters to prevent potential fires.

Smoke alarms should also be installed throughout the property and tested regularly to ensure they work properly.

Visit the vacant rental regularly so that any suspicious activity can be reported immediately.

Increased Risk of Liability Issues

Without an occupant in the home, landlords are more at risk of liability issues arising from accidents on the property.


If a trespasser enters the property and is injured due to unsafe conditions, the landlord can be held responsible for any resulting medical bills or damages.

Liability issues can also arise from negligence in maintaining the premises, such as failing to repair broken stairs or remove hazardous items from the property.

Tips to Minimize Liability Risks

To reduce liability risks, landlords must inspect the property regularly and ensure that any potential hazards are removed or repaired. Signs on the property should warn trespassers of any unsafe conditions.

If a tenant moves out of the premises suddenly, inspecting the entire property before putting it back on the market is essential. This will address any potential hazards before a new tenant moves in.

Water Damage Woes

Water damage can be one of the costliest issues a landlord may face. Leaks and broken pipes can cause extensive damage to a property, requiring expensive repairs and renovations to make it habitable again.

The danger with water damage is that it may only be noticed after a tenant has moved in, which can lead to inconvenience and extra costs to the landlord.

Tips to Spot and Stop Water Damage Before It Ruins Your Rental Property

To prevent water damage from occurring, it’s essential for landlords to regularly inspect their properties for any signs of leaks or broken pipes.

Keep gutters and downspouts clear to reduce potential flooding. If any water damage occurs, take immediate action to prevent further damage.


If a tenant moves out suddenly, inspect the premises before putting it back on the market to identify any potential water issues.

Minimize Risks and Maximize Profits

An empty rental eats into your profits and poses significant safety risks to the property and its surroundings.

To minimize these risks, you can hire Windermere Property Management, experts in property management services.

Our team of experienced and qualified professionals will keep a vigilant eye on your vacant rental unit 24/7, ensuring that any potential threats are detected and taken care of immediately.

Concluding Thoughts

Vacant rental properties can be vulnerable to numerous risks, ranging from vandalism and squatters, to fire and water damage.

To reduce these risks, landlords should secure the premises, install a security system if necessary, inspect the property regularly for potential hazards, and take immediate measures if any suspicious activity is observed.

Taking such precautions will not only protect landlords from financial losses but also help ensure the safety of their rental properties.

If you need assistance managing your vacant rental property, contact Windermere Property Management today! We provide the necessary support and guidance for successful property management.

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