Securing the property

If people are still living in the property, you have to rely on them for the most part to secure the property from theft and vandalism and prevent someone from getting accidentally injured. As owner, however, keep an eye on the property and attend to the following:

^ Lock the doors if the property is vacant. Make sure the property is secure to prevent theft and vandalism and discourage neighborhood kids from entering the house or garage and possibly suffering some injury.

Consider giving your neighbors your card and asking them to keep an eye on the house for you. Ask them to call you if they notice anything out of the ordinary. If the house is vacant, you may want to hire one of the neighbor's kids to mow the lawn each week and pick up any newspapers or advertising handouts that end up on the front porch. Try to make the house look as occupied as possible.

^ Attend to any safety or health issues. If the property has been cited for unsafe wiring, hire an electrician to inspect and correct the problem. Repair any broken windows or board them up. Invest a minimal amount of money to make the property safe. These are expenses you're highly unlikely to be reimbursed for in the event that someone redeems the property.

^ Perform any repairs that may lead to additional damage. Spend only enough on repairs to prevent further damage. If the roof leaks, for example, instead of replacing the roof, have the leaks fixed to prevent further water damage.

Don't invest a great deal of money or time in expensive repairs. If someone redeems your lien, any money you spend now becomes a house-warming present to the new owners.

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