How to maintain an unoccupied commercial property

  • 10 Jan 2023

If your commercial property is currently empty, you might be concerned about protecting it. As we head into a difficult economic period through 2023, it’s crucial to do everything you can to reduce unnecessary spending. When it comes to maintaining unoccupied buildings, you can be proactive in your efforts to limit damage, theft, or preventable deterioration. This article has more information…

Why do empty buildings need to be maintained?

There are several reasons why a commercial building might be vacant. From renovations to long handover periods before new tenants arrive, the property could be empty for months – but there’s no reason it should be neglected. 

By following the right precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of exposure for your commercial property. 

How do you protect an empty commercial building?


 – Invest in security


Security is essential for any commercial property, but it’s imperative for vulnerable unoccupied buildings as they’re more likely to be targeted by criminals. Security measures might include CCTV systems, complex and remote alarms, or a physical security team. 

Always seek to obtain a comprehensive and robust commercial landlord insurance policy too, which might prove invaluable through unforeseen circumstances.


 – Carry out regular inspections


At least once a week, you should inspect the property to ensure that it’s free of vandalism. Is everything is in good working order?

After determining who will be responsible for carrying out the inspections, you should keep a checklist detailing exactly what should be undertaken.

Tasks should include checking fire safety equipment, heating and plumbing systems, and any IT equipment provided to the next tenants. Don’t forget that you might need to organise approved portable appliance testing for electronic devices you provide your tenants with.


 – Prepare for adverse weather 


Throughout the winter months, freezing temperatures and extreme weather events could unexpectedly damage the inside or outside of the building. To reduce these risks, make sure the heating is left on through unoccupied periods – preferably on a timer – so that you don’t need to deal with repairing frozen pipes.



During summer, keep air conditioning running to reduce the likelihood of humidity and mould from growing. If the building is equipped with fire doors, make sure all entrances are closed. If possible, you should invest in door sensors and automatic closing technology too.

 – Use automated systems

If your commercial building is an empty office suite in a busy metropolitan area, reducing the risk of theft should be a priority. Even if you protect the building with CCTV cameras, opportunist thieves might still take advantage if it’s obviously unoccupied. 

You could use automated and remote-controlled lighting to give the impression that employees are still inside, especially during the evenings. 

Commercial landlords face immense responsibility, but it’s always important to operate under the correct commercial rent code of practice. If you have any urgent concerns about your unoccupied corporate property, get in touch with your local authority.

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