Absentee Villa Owners

This page gives you advice and help on what to do when you are absent from your home for long periods and a neighbour is looking after the premises for you. You can now give authority to allow the police to enter your premises in your absence. This should overcome some of the difficulties that people have experienced when not at home when often the police will decline to attend a break-in or enter premises.

We also give advice if you are a key holder with some precautions about entering premises where alarms have actuated or there has been a break-in. Your coordinator has a supply of forms that should be completed in order to give your neighbour and police the authority to enter your premises in the event of a suspected break-in.

SOME USEFUL TIPS WHILE YOU ARE AWAY

  • If you have a mail delivery box ask a neighbour to empty it regularly if you are away. An overfull mail box indicates that the house is unoccupied and makes it easier for thieves to steal mail. Ask them to remove flyers that are wedged into your gates.
  • If you use a personal message on your telephone do not indicate that you are away in the UK or on holiday. Use words to give the impression that you are currently unable to take the call and will get back to the caller as soon as possible.
  • Most blinds are for keeping the house cool in summer and they have very little security benefit, so always leave some at least partially opened with the curtains drawn. This gives the appearance that the house is occupied.
  • On long absences from your home make sure your neighbours know and arrange for someone to keep the garden tidy – again giving the appearance that the property is occupied. Do not leave valuable tools and other items in the garden when you are not there.
  • For indoor lighting use timers on table lamps so that they switch on at dusk and off late at night. When away leave the hall or passage lamp on so that it can be seen from outside. Outside lamps by your entrance gate and on the wall can be replaced by low wattage bulbs with a daylight sensor so that they come on at dusk and go off at dawn. Apart from giving the impression that the house is occupied it helps getting the key in the lock when returning home in darkness!
  • Do not talk about your impending absence in the local bar or in earshot of anyone who may take advantage of your absence.

KEY HOLDERS RESPONSIBILITIES

To be a key holder for domestic premises you must be on the telephone and able to attend the premises when receiving a call-out or alarms activation.You should be familiar with the premises and have knowledge of vehicles owned by the occupier. On attendance at the premises.

  • Make sure someone knows where you are.
  • Always approach from the front.
  • Avoid dark areas.
  • Give yourself plenty of room when checking the property (do not keep too close to the building line).
  • Ideally two people should attend.
  • If you have a mobile phone, take it with you.

Carry a torch with you. If there are any strange vehicles on the driveway or any unusual lights on, DO NOT APPROACH ring the Guardia Civil on 112

If, on checking the premises you discover that they are insecure

DO NOT GO INSIDE - CALL THE GUARDIA CIVIL ON 112 DO NOT TOUCH THE DOOR OR WINDOW.

If the property appears to be in order then enter and check. Re-set the alarms (you will need the code) or call the engineer depending upon circumstances agreed with the householder. On leaving the premises make sure all doors and windows are secure. Having volunteered as a key holder you need to know the whereabouts of the owner should they need to be contacted.

If the property has been broken into or damaged, it will be your responsibility on behalf of the owner for any temporary repairs.