You and your tenants need to be vigilant over the Christmas periodThe Christmas season is upon us and there is a good chance that your tenants may be going away, leaving your property empty and therefore vulnerable.

To help ensure that your property remains protected, there are a number of measures that you and your tenants could take to keep your property safe while the occupants are away.

As the landlord, you should advise their tenants to check the functionality of locks, not only on main doors and windows, but also on sheds and garages, as bikes are often the number one choice for festive felons.

Tenants should also be told to ensure that valuables are kept out of sight so that they are not actively advertising the property to burglars.

You or your tenants may wish to consider installing timers for lights and lamps so that it looks like someone is at home.

It may also be wise to ask your tenants if you or a representative can enter the property if their plan to be away for an extended period. That way, post can be taken in, curtains can be opened and closed, and a vehicle can be seen to be at the property.

To help alleviate any concerns you may have over the festive period, here are some tips that you may care to share with your tenants:

+ Keep valuables out of sight: Keep valuables out of sight such as laptops, televisions and car keys might just prove to be an incentive to an opportunist.

+ Lock all windows and doors: If you are sharing a house or a flat, make sure that the last person to leave does a quick check around the property to ensure that all windows and doors are locked.

+ Keep a light on: A cheap plug-in timer will turn lamps on and give the impression that somebody is home when your property is empty over the holiday.

+ Take down Christmas decorations: While it may make your house look a little cheerier, if your house is going to be vacant until after the New Year decorations may indicate to that the house is empty, so take down the decorations before you leave for Christmas.

+ Neighbourhood watch: If you are comfortable and friendly with your neighbours then inform them that you’re going away and how long for, and ask them to keep an eye on your property.