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The law requires that property owners keep their property up to code, and it holds them responsible for injury and property damage sustained on and by their property. Squatters can present a significant threat to a landlord for both reasons, as thieves might tear out the walls in search of copper piping and uninvited tenants can sue for damages when they are injured in a dilapidated structure. When landlords board up their vacant properties, they are providing an added layer of security and protecting themselves legally against lawsuits over injury and failure to remain up to code.

Squatters also present risks to real estate agents looking to sell the home, and even to tenants who might eventually move in. Squatters can get very territorial over property that is not theirs. Violence against real estate agents has skyrocketed since the housing crash of 2008. Real estate agents are showing more properties in worse neighborhoods and many properties that have abandoned for years. Sometimes the houses become dens of abandoned pets or even meth labs. In Chicago, board up jobs are needed more and more at these vacant properties to keep real estate agents and the surrounding neighborhoods safe.

Sadly, by the nature of the work, real estate agents are especially vulnerable to violence. They often post photographs online and broadcast their showings across social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, giving thieves, stalkers, and worse the means to track and find them. In the city of Detroit, a real estate agent has a 1 in 47 chance of finding him or herself the victim of violent crime. In the interest of pursuing some economic regrowth, board up solutions provide a practical means of keeping vacant property from becoming a legal liability or a hazard to life and limb. If a vacant property can’t find a new legal tenant, a board-up job helps ensure the security of everyone involved.