Experiencing vacant property as a landlord is inevitable. Tenants are always moving out while others are moving in. However, if you leave your rental property vacant for so long, there are risks that come with it. For instance, there is a significant loss in your passive income, an overall increase in maintenance costs as well as external damages.

In this article, we are going to go through some of the risks that are likely to occur if you leave your property vacant for a long time, and why considering hiring a property management company may be your best option.

Theft and Vandalism

Vacant houses are easy targets for thieves. They make a living out by stealing some of your expensive furnishing, appliances, and fittings. Also, they might steal aluminum wires.

For those who have furnished apartments, items in your house such as dining tables, sofas, or curtains, might be the target. This is a great loss on your part since it will make it impossible for you to meet your ROI target for the year.

Vandals are also drawn to vacant houses. For those looking for cheap thrills, they might be tempted to spray paint on your walls, draw graffiti or write their names. It might be fun for them but it will decrease your property value and incur extra costs on your end in cleaning the property or even renovations, depending on the damage.

However, for you to avoid the risk of having your property robbed or vandalized, you can take

precautionary measures such as installing surveillance cameras. The cameras should be installed in a way that the entire premises can be monitored and not only at a certain angle.

graffitied brick wall

From the comfort of your house or even on your phone, you can easily observe the happenings on your property. Having motion sensors and lighting will also discourage thieves and vandals from breaking into your rental property.


Leaving your rental property vacant too long might attract another class of unwanted guests such as squatters. They invite themselves over and live on your property without paying any rent.

If you do not take any measures to evict them, they might implicitly take over as ‘the landlord’ and start charging rent on your property to other squatters.

The problem with this category of people is that, after some time, they acquire rights by law and you will have to consult legal advisors to help you regain ownership of your property, which is in itself an additional cost.

To avoid this, you might want to consider installing a security system that allows you to monitor your premises remotely. An alarm system is also a preferred option to keep them out of your property.

Additionally, you could also hire a lawyer to help you in dealing with stubborn squatters who are resistant to moving out of your property. You can also deal with this risk by regularly visiting your premises so that it does not look uninhabited by onlookers and potential thieves.


The fact that no one is occupying your rental unit means that most of the house appliances are left without being used thereby making the unit vulnerable to fires. Heating systems that aren’t well taken care of can accumulate dirt and result in an overheated motor system.

two firefighters putting out a fire with a hose

Intruders might also forget to put out their lighters or candles after they have left thereby causing a fire if there were combustible items around.

Arson is also another risk that accompanies a vacant rental property. Passers-by might accidentally cause a fire if they were smoking while some intruders might purposefully set your property on fire.

To prevent a fire on your property, regularly check your security system to ensure there are no intruders and visit your rental property periodically so that it does not look uninhabited. Also, regularly collect junk mail and make sure the landscape is impeccable so that the property does not easily look abandoned.

Water Damage and Mold

This arises from leaks and broken pipes. If not quickly attended to, it might highly cost you in terms of maintenance.

The leaks and water damage might cause mold. Mold can result in great destruction of finishing and fittings in the house such as wallpaper, drywall, and carpet. The flooring, ceiling board, tiles, and other structures in the house are also at risk.

If left unaddressed, mold can further lead to severe property damage and potential health risks if you take up new tenants before you attend to the issue.

To prevent this, you need to ensure that your plumbing is drained. Also, conduct regular checks on the property to find out whether there are any leaking taps and have them repaired as soon as possible.

person building new roof in house

You also need to ensure that there is free air circulation in the house and regulate the level of humidity from time to time to reduce the risk of having mold in the rental unit.

How to Minimize the Risk of Leaving a Property Vacant

The best way to go about this is by hiring a property management company that will oversee your vacant rental property. They have the necessary skills and expertise you need to ensure that your vacant rental property is kept safe from the risks mentioned.

A property management company also can give you additional benefits in rental management such as tenant screening, rent collection, and general maintenance of your rental property.

This risk can also be minimized by attracting long-term tenants. In contrast to short-term tenants, long-term tenants handle your property with care and reduce maintenance costs. You need to install alluring features and amenities on your property that will attract such tenants. A tenant screening process will help in selecting the ideal tenant.

Bottom Line

It is not advantageous having your property vacant for too long. It carries with it risks such as theft and vandalism, squatters, fires, water damage, and mold. However, at Keyrenter Property Management North Dallas, we offer the best services to help you dodge these associated risks.

We have a well-seasoned team of experts who know how to deal with these risks. Feel free to get in touch with us today.