While the reassurance offered by an unoccupied property insurance policy is something that the majority of landlords take advantage of if they have a vacant property, there are nevertheless many tactics that can make a building appear inhabited or used – thus reducing the risk of having to make a claim.

Investing in some basic furniture and placing it in positions that can be seen from the ground floor windows is an effective way of giving the impression that someone is still living in the property. In addition to this, putting a lamp on a timer helps make the property look inhabited – although if the property remains vacant for many months you should bear in mind the differences in sunset times, and adjust the timer accordingly.

An overgrown garden is a big clue that a property is vacant, so paying to have it mown – or doing it yourself – regularly is a good idea. Making sure post does not build up is also important, as burglars, vandals or even squatters look for such signs.

There are many other imaginative ways of making a property look occupied – such as asking a neighbour to park their car on the driveway, adjusting curtains and re-arranging garden furniture. Depending on the specifics of your property, you may well come up with your own way of making your property appear used and deterring unwanted guests.