Is my property safe from squatters during the lockdown in Spain?
Without a doubt, one of the main concerns among owners of holiday homes and rental properties has been the immense complexity of dealing with an illegal occupation by squatters. A problem which, due to the current lockdown situation, has become considerably worse in many parts of Spain, and above all in the big cities.
While the numbers of burglaries recorded by police and security companies have gone down, at the same time, the official number of illegal occupations has increased by 10%. The reason is simple: by looking online at holiday rental websites, criminals and squatters can easily identify the location of empty properties, especially knowing as we do now that accessing these homes and apartments is a real impossibility in many communities.
This is not an isolated incident: looking solely on the pages of AirBnB, which is the leading platform within the sector for tourism rentals, we can find more than 190,000 properties which serve exclusively as short-term rentals for weekend breaks and getaways. All of which are currently empty because of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in Spain. This translates into more than 430,000 unoccupied beds all across Spain, a figure which is far in excess of the total number of available hotel rooms in our country, according to reports by ExcelTur.
Faced with this reality, each day it is becoming all the more necessary to better protect and monitor these properties in order to get ahead of any potential occupation by squatters. This means equipping properties with security and early detection measures that are connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre so that security guards can be dispatched as quickly as possible should any sort of incident involving violence or squatters occur. This way, you can avoid any kind of dangerous situation involving these sorts of tenants, whether it be in a private property or, as often occurs, in a neighbourhood community.
Various detection devices, including devices which detect motion, shock, temperature, smoke, leaks and much, much, more, will detect and identify any kind of break-in or incident occurring in the home, allowing the emergency services to attend at the slightest suspicion of an illegal occupation. This means that, without a doubt, properties protected by an integrated alarm system will only ever be an option of last resort for squatters and organised gangs.
In addition to residential properties, the lockdown has also meant that once busy commercial areas have been left deserted, with many stores closed up and with high-value items inside, often without sufficient security to guarantee their protection.
Security companies such as Sector Alarm, which has its very own Alarm Receiving Centre, call-out service and the ability to send direct alerts to the police and the emergency services, are a great way to protect your business and take immediate action against any kind of break-in or occupation attempt.