The essential journalist news source
Securing vacant buildings is a smart move

A picture containing clipartDescription automatically generated





For immediate release:
London, 14 February 2019


Securing an empty property is smart and cost-effective

- how a £5,000 investment can save a quarter of a million pounds

Last week, it was reported that a vacant 46,000 square foot self-contained office and storage unit in a business park in Leamington Spa was ransacked by travellers. Over 20 caravans entered the car park space and the trespassers stripped the building of all metal for scrap. The roof and the fabric of the building was so badly damaged, that it may need to be demolished. Most of the windows were smashed. The trespassers have now left the site.

Last year Sovereign House had been on offer for rental at £210,000 per annum. 

"It's terrible, but leaving empty properties unsecured nowadays so often results in a significant cost to the owners or local authorities, and to the environment." explains Nicholas Bye, a director of vacant property specialists, VPS Security Services. "They attract vandalism, metal thieves, arsonists, travellers and squatters way more than occupied premises. The longer an empty property is left unattended, unprotected and neglected, the greater the risk of further devastating dilapidation, compounding the cost and timing of eventual repair. The sooner it is secured against unwanted visitors and the elements, the sooner it will be re-let or sold." Mr Bye says.

VPS researched the risks and discovered that across the UK dozens of fires are deliberately started every day in, or next to, vacant premises. Illegal fly tipping occurs every 40 seconds, and grounds such as a car park surrounding an empty office block, are prime targets.

They followed up the research with a comparison of costs between guards and technological alternatives. Round-the-clock guarding can cost upwards of £70,000 a year, whilst the latest technologies can provide 24/7 security from around £5,000, securing an  office site and its car park. Simple but effective options like blocking car park entrances with concrete, fixing the perimeter fences and applying steel screens to windows and doors, will significantly reduce the risk of intruders and vandals.

"If these low-cost but robust options had been in place to protect this site, they may have been able to re-let the unit sooner. It was on offer for £200,000 rental last year, an opportunity now lost if they must demolish the site for safety reasons. In this instant, the owners could have saved tens of thousands of pounds that it will cost to make good the damage. Overall, for the sake of around £5,000 investment, they could have saved a quarter of a million." Concludes Mr Bye.

VPS Security Services are part of the VPS Group that specialise in protecting people, property and assets, by securing, maintaining and managing properties across a wide range of customer and industry sectors. Core building services cover the vacant, unoccupied and void property lifecycle from an initial risk assessment, to security, including guarding, monitoring, clearing, maintenance and also ‘security through occupation', via their VPS property guardians service.


Notes for editors :

About the VPS Group:

VPS Groupsecures more than 30,000 properties and employs over 1200 staff in locations across the UK and mainland Europe.

Their services protect properties against unauthorised access and a variety of hazards such as arson, theft, squatting as well as wintry hazards of storm, ice and snow damage.

Further details, call the press office.

+44(0)77 222 82 946