Even though the commercial real estate market is showing glimmers of hope, there are still a very high number of vacant commercial properties in Jacksonville and around the country. This is not only a concern for commercial property managers but for the communities that these vacant properties occupy.
Vacant commercial properties tend to attract crime which results in monetary and physical losses to the property owner and a diminished appearance and level of safety in the community. While the ideal solution is to find occupants for all vacant properties, until that happens there are simple steps that can be taken to secure and protect vacant properties.
Steps To Secure A Vacant Property
1. Install additional locks. Consider changing the basic locks that may be suitable when a property has a tenant to more secure barriers such as deadbolts, padlocks or slide bolts. A lock box can be used to grant access to authorized parties. Consult your local locksmith for suggestions of what types of locks would best protect your property.
2. Maintain the alarm system. Don't cancel the security system when the tenants vacant the property. It is even more important to have a monitored alarm when no one will be entering the property on a regular basis. In the event of an intrusion, the police can be notified and dispatch through the security company. Also, posted warnings that the property is protected by an alarm could act as deterrents for would-be-thieves.
Whatever security measures are appropriate for your commercial property, rest assured that your actions will preserve the invests you're made in the property, keep it in a "ready to occupy" state and contribute to the safety of the community.
5. Keep up the exterior of the building. When a building is occupied, the grass is cut, shrubs are trimmed, the windows are washed, the roof and painting are maintained. Continuing this maintenance schedule even when the building is not occupied will give the appearance of an occupied building. Avoiding the run-down vacant property look will make it obvious to the community when vandalism or other crimes have occurred, therefore increasing the chances that someone will notify the police. An added bonus: the property will be more attractive to future tenants or buyers.
6. Install proper interior and exterior lighting. Having a well lite building alone can be a deterrent to crime. Proper lighting makes it easier for crimes to be seen and makes it easier for surveillance cameras to record better video. In addition, you will feel safer inspecting the building if there is adequate interior lighting.
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