If you’re leaving your home for an extended period of time, here’s what you need to know about keeping your empty Spanish home safe while you’re away.

During the first three quarters of 2023, there were 90,258 burglaries reported in Spain.

The places where the majority of home robberies took place were Catalonia, Madrid, Andalusia and Valencia.  

In terms of squatting, in 2023 Catalonia continued to be the region with by far the most okupas (squatters), with about 40% of the national total, interior ministry figures show.

Here are some tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away.

1) Rent it out

If you’re going to be away for a substantial amount of time, one of the best ways of keeping your home safe is to rent it out. You could choose to only rent it out for the specific amount of time you’ll be away if you don’t want to organise a long-term let. Be aware that it’s not always legal in Spain to rent out your home on a short-term basis to tourists, unless you have a tourist licence.

2) Organise a house sitter 

Housesitting is an agreement whereby you let someone live in your house for free for the time you’re away, in exchange for looking after your property, and usually your pets too. You can also ask them to do small jobs like watering your plants and looking after your garden. There are several housesitting websites where you can advertise your property.

3) Make it look as though someone is living there

If you don’t want people living in your house, the most common piece of advice is to make it seem like the property is inhabited. This might mean setting a timer on some of the lights in your house or getting someone to pick up your post. You can also ask a neighbour or a friend to keep an eye on the property

4) Invest in security measures

This could include a full surveillance system, a simple security camera, an alarm or even a reinforced door.

5) Join a neighbourhood watch

If you live in a community or residential area, think about joining some type of community watch scheme, where neighbours are in charge of looking out for each other’s properties.

6) Inform security guards

If you live in a complex with security guards, you may want to inform them that you’ll be away so that they can keep an extra eye on your property.

7) Check your insurance

Check your home insurance policy to make sure that it’s still valid if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time. Some insurance policies only cover an unoccupied house for up to 30 days at a time. If you’re going to be away for longer, you may need to look at getting some other type of insurance.

If you are looking to buy a property in Spain and need a mortgage, email mark@vci-network.com for the latest criteria