Recent Aviva research illustrates a significant annual increase in home damage during Halloween. According to the insurance company, the period spanning the end of October and the first few days of November brings about a rough increase of 150% in claims of malicious damage to the home; meanwhile, damage to cars rises by half as do car thefts which go up by 20%.
The Halloween festivities encourage a free-for-all around this time of the year, with the consequences being most evident in the exteriors of properties up and down the country. More youth are out in public until a later time at night. Because this crowd have a valid excuse and are in costume, they have the opportunity to get away with tricks. This encourages a higher frequency in reckless behaviour, though this blame shouldn’t be pushed on kids alone. Potential damage can be attributed to young adults, with many attending parties and enjoying more alcohol than normal, on Halloween itself and the nearest weekend. Heavy alcohol use usually results in varying levels of destructive consequences anyway through scuffles, accidents and driving while intoxicated. More specifically, if individuals rent in London, Manchester or a similarly large city with an active nightlife, and they live close to town or main roads, tenants shouldn’t be surprised to receive more attention through foot-traffic. It’s also getting darker, sooner in the evenings, providing an excellent opportunity for vandals and burglars to strike under the cover of darkness.
So how does this affect those in the property-game, who own and let out accommodation? Well, individuals can very well expect to spend the next day on the phone with repair-men to arrange visits and quotes for work to be done. Many tenants will be phoning up their landlords, sheepishly reporting damages that have “just happened” (that is if they actually report it rather than fix it themselves or even hide it). Agents and Landlords will commonly hear of incidents including broken windows, damage to paintwork, spray-painting and produce being thrown. More complicated examples can involve plumbing too
Those who don’t report damage to their landlord or letting agent, but instead go about covering up any problems themselves, can safely expect the damage to be discovered on inspection of the property at a later date. Agents and landlords regularly inspect properties, and can do so with just 24 hours notice (or none if their is a concern of damage to the property). Common discoveries include chipped furniture and stains on carpets.
Because Halloween is a popular annual tradition, it’s guaranteed that there will always be young trick-or-treaters and older party-goers out and about, abstaining from their usual behaviour. Unless there is a prevalent fear amongst members of a community with a prior negative experience to point to, Halloween fun and games will be tolerated unless they breach the law. Due to budgets cuts and the expected incidents around this time of year, emergency services will be stretched even further. Preemptive measures by property-owners can help. Because Halloween is an annual holiday, it’s generally accepted by landlords and agents who let out properties that these incidents will happen. Holidays like Halloween and the behaviour it brings out in others is one of those things to consider when deciding where to live. For those who want to avoid such festivities but still wish to rent in London or another major city, flats which offer more security from the outside, area safe option. On the other hand, if you want to be more active, like hosting a party yourself, a house, rather than an apartment, will provide more space to dance!