Protecting Your Strata Property While You Are Away

Traditionally, many Australians take advantage of the Christmas and New Year period to go on holiday, whether it’s within the country or overseas. As the holiday season approaches, it’s crucial for strata owners and residents to ensure the safety and security of their property.

During the holiday period, it may be the case that visitors are coming and going at a higher than usual rate. This increases the chance of unauthorised persons entering the building.

Additionally, it is known that criminals intentionally use the holiday period as an “opportune” time to target empty properties as well as getting into car parks and storage cages.

This guide aims to provide practical tips for strata property owners on how to protect their investment and mitigate risks while enjoying a well-deserved vacation.

Strengthen Home Security:

Before setting off on your holiday, prioritise the security of your strata property. Ensure all doors and windows are secure and consider installing deadbolts or smart locks for added protection. If your strata community permits, a security system with monitoring capabilities can be an excellent deterrent against potential intruders.

Leverage Smart Home Technology:

Embrace the convenience of smart home technology to remotely monitor and control your property. Smart cameras, doorbell cameras, and smart lighting systems can be managed through your smartphone, allowing you to keep an eye on your home even when you’re miles away. Check with your body corporate to ensure compliance with any guidelines related to technology installations.

Notify Trusted Neighbours

Communication is key. Inform trustworthy neighbours about your upcoming holiday plans, and provide them with your contact details. A good relationship with neighbours fosters a sense of community vigilance. Additionally, you can notify your body corporate manager and/or building manager about your absence, ensuring they are aware of your emergency contact information.

Secure Valuables and Personal Items:

Prioritise the safety of your valuables by storing them in a secure location within your property. This includes any items contained in your vehicle if you are leaving it at the property while you are away and storage cages. Consider a safe deposit box for irreplaceable items. Ensure that personal information is safeguarded, and sensitive documents are stored away. This minimises the risk of identity theft and unauthorised access.

Set Up Mail and Package Handling:

A build-up of mail and packages is a clear indicator of an empty home. Temporarily redirect your mail or ask a trustworthy neighbour to collect it. This simple step prevents your property from looking unoccupied, reducing the risk of burglary. Remember to also cancel any regular food delivery services (as people often forget).

Regular Maintenance Checks:

Before leaving for your holiday, conduct a thorough inspection of your property. Check for any existing maintenance issues, and if needed, report them to your body corporate management company for prompt resolution. A well-maintained property is less likely to face unexpected problems during your absence.

Visitor/Guest Security

For many apartment residents the holidays mean an increase in the number of strangers staying in their communities. Whether visitors of residents or short-term rental guests, this can present significant security challenges.

Some things to consider:

  • Is there a system in place for keys and/or entry cards to be returned at the end of each stay?
  • Are visitors seeking access from the persons they are visiting and not just following other residents into the building or complex?
  • Are keys left in lockboxes out of sight from the street?

Communities must ensure that there are proper processes in place to track visitors and mitigate against the increased risks to security.

 House Sitters and Short-term rentals

If you’re planning to let out a room or your entire property during the holidays, make sure you’re familiar with the laws in your state.

You should also review your community by-laws or building rules. Whether they’re Airbnb guests or just a friend who is house-sitting for you.  Let your guests know about your property’s by-laws or building rules to minimise issues arising in your absence.

Not Going Away? Here are some tips.

Ensure any visitor you encounter seeks access from the people they are visiting and do not simply follow you into the property.

Be on the lookout and report any suspicious behaviour to police or building management/security if applicable.

Suspicious behaviour includes:

  • People loitering around building access points
  • Vehicles tailgating other drivers into car parks
  • Strangers peering into storage cages
  • Finding doors that have been held or blocked open

 

By taking these proactive steps, you can ensure that your strata property remains secure and well-maintained while you enjoy your holiday. From smart home technology to fostering community relationships, these measures will contribute to the overall safety and harmony of your strata community. Wishing you a worry-free and enjoyable vacation!

How Can We Help You?

Call us on 07 3435 5300 and one of our friendly consultants will help