With so many holiday homes left empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, squatters cases rose in the previous years. This is no surprise since the “okupas” movement in Spain has been around for decades. The good news is that there are many things you can do to avoid being part of the 14,675 cases reported in 2020.
Read on, apply our advice, and protect your holiday home from squatters all year long.
Advice To Keep Squatters Off Your Property
These are some pieces of advice you can follow to avoid squatters on your property. Although they are not 100% infallible, they will help the odds of keeping your house secure.
Rent The House
This is the smartest way to tick two boxes at the same time: make some money and keep the property secure. Indeed, having your property idle for most of the year will not only cost you money but will also bring squatters’ attention. Thus, if you rent your property, you can make a side income and keep it in perfect condition all year long.
Don’t Advertise On Your Own
In case you are going to rent your house while you’re away, don’t make your absence public. Instead, hire a booking agency and try to advertise your property through them. Plus, you’ll have people coming to see the property often which makes it less desirable for squatters.
Install A Good Alarm System
Alarms are the second-best option when it comes to avoiding squatters’ invasion of your property abroad. Furthermore, if you can get a system connected directly to the police you have more chances of evicting squatters right away. In Spain, the first 48 hours are crucial to deal with squatters, burglars, and break-ins.
Home Automation Also Works
A good third option if you are not going to be inside your house for some time is to pretend you are. This means automating certain appliances like the outside lights, shades, and the television; it can be a great way to keep squatters off. As you might know, squatters only attempt to break into empty houses because their goal is not to steal but to live in the property. Therefore, occupying a property that is already occupied by the owners is impossible.
Let Someone Water your Plants
Give the key to someone you can trust and let that person go to your house and water the plants. First, there will be movement, people coming in and out. Second, healthy plants don’t live in abandoned houses. Finally, that person will tell you if there has been an attempt to break into your property.
Don’t Go Public on Social Media about your Absence
Don’t go telling people you’re leaving an empty house. If this information becomes public and falls in the wrong hands, you’ll be giving up a scoop to the wrong people. Furthermore, you won’t be able to play the tricks above and mislead the squatters. So, keep your movements to yourself and in real life, not in the virtual world.
Squatters can not only occupy your home but also transform it into a big mess. This is because they are not interested in protecting it or making it nicer, just living inside for free. So, follow our advice above and make your home away from home just as secure as the house you live in. Moreover, if you decide to rent it, you can also make a passive side income that can help you pay the bills.
Keep your property safe and enjoy holidays in paradise every year.