As potentially lucrative as the property market can be for investors, there are significant and well documented risks associated with this industry. But one risk often overlooked is the dangers of empty property security. The dynamics of the market essentially punishes indecision, or those with no immediate purpose for their property. This often pressures owners to making snap decisions without due consideration.

Traditionally there have been two options for vacant property owners: board it up and leave it as it is, or hire an outside company to oversee the premise.

There are clear problems with both of these options. Firstly by leaving a property totally empty is to subject it to vandalism, loitering, theft and asset stripping. With no one to monitor empty properties they are a criminals dream. Even the most basic of properties can have thousands of pounds worth of harvestable materials which can be sold on the black market, such as roof tilling, fibre optic cables, carpeting, electrical devices and metal structures to sold on as scrap metal.

Furthermore wanton vandalism and destruction can be even more damaging, with the cost of repairs often greater than the actual cost of the property. Empty spaces in general can attract significant crime; illegal activities can often go undetected for large amounts of time as empty premises.

Squatting is another issue for empty property security. It is not illegal for a squatter to enter and live in and empty non-residential building, but for property owners, once a squatter has moved in, obtaining a legal order for them to leave can be a long and drawn out process.

There are simple, conventional solutions to these problems, but these do not come financial negatives. Monthly maintenance and insurance provides a quick answer, but profit seeking companies will naturally seek the maximum return on any work they do. Similarly security companies may seem to provide safe protection, but the price of this can be staggering. For example the cost of hiring a security company (and the insurance associated with this) to oversee a property of 2,000 square feet for 12 months comes to a figure just shy of £100,000. This trend seems likely to continue with the profits of private security companies continuing to rise.

Therefore what Ad Hoc delivers is a smart, cost efficient solution to a stagnant old problem. Ad Hoc creatively reimagines properties of all types and sizes to make them a suitable place for someone to live. Carefully vetted guardians are then able live there as a permanent or part time dwelling for them. This means that ensuring the maintenance of the property is in the interest of the Guardian, rather than just the property owner. Furthermore, a presence in the property provides security and surveillance without hiring a private security firm.

This alternate option of property guardians can be up to 80% cheaper than conventional methods of security; the only costs for the property owner being a small fee, minimal insurance cover and monthly utilities. Vacant property protection remains a key aspect in the decision making of any property owner. But what has traditionally been seen as a tedious, and costly burden for property owners could now become a positive, financially sound way of ensuring properties remain secure.