Burglary prevention might not have been high on your priority list when investing in rental properties, but it’s essential to do your due diligence and put safeguards in place. Responsibility for tenant safety falls to the landlord to some degree, so make sure your rental property is as safe as possible for your renters.
Burglary risk at your rental property is same as in your primary home. And so, you must employ the same measure as you’d have applied in your own home. Installing security system, changing locks frequently, having good terms with your neighbors, making the property entrances visible from other homes in the locality, are some of the good measures you can employ.
And as an added benefit, you may command a higher rental price. As buyers, these days, negotiate a lot more for the rent.
Don’t let bad tenants into your property—this is the golden rule for all landlords, but it’s especially true in the case of those wanting to prevent burglary in their home. If you rent to people that have bad associations, it’s more likely that the property will be broken into.
To ensure you’re securing the best tenants possible, use thorough screening tactics from a service like Smartmove and get all the information you need to make an educated decision before handing over that lease for signing.
If possible, get their emergency contact, a person who doesn’t stay with your tenant but close enough to help during an emergency. I know some landlords who only rent out to known customers.
Replacing Door and window locks
When a tenant moves out, inspect your property with the help of an expert. Check the walls, the doors and the windows. Make sure no screw is loose and nothing is broken. Make sure the door and window frames are not damaged. Then without a fail, replace the locks. This is must do even for your own home.
If your rental property is in a dimly lit neighborhood, you’ll need to take it into your own hands to light the place up. Take a few minutes to examine your property in the middle of the night—believe me that missing an hour of sleep for one night is well worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing a burglar won’t be terrorizing your tenants.
Use exterior lighting in areas where shadows and darkness would easily hide an intruder, and focus on lighting up entrances. Motion sensor lights are a great idea and will save you energy while also keeping your property and its inhabitants safe.
The Hardware Issues
You can make inexpensive repairs and changes to prevent burglaries and advertise your property as a safe place to live for any potential tenants. Install peepholes in front and back doors so tenants can always look to see who is outside before opening their door.
Another inexpensive safeguard would be to replace locks on windows and doors. Instead of relying on the window locks that come standard, install some heavy-duty locks that will dissuade burglars from trying to break in. Use a deadbolt system for your doors to ensure they’re as strong as possible, and invest in solid core doors to ensure it can’t be kicked in with ease.
Consider Your Landscaping
This might sound like a strange strategy, but considering how your plants and trees might obstruct views of the house is a legitimate security concern. If burglars are given great cover through thick branches, anyone passing on the street will not notice anything is amiss.
If the plants around your rental property are too tall or wide for neighbors to be able to see through, burglars will have an easier time breaking in under the radar. Make it more difficult for opportunistic thieves by planning your landscaping strategically. Whether it be through pruning or complete removal, you can open up the house and give thieves less of a chance to slip by unnoticed.
Make sure you’ve got the insurance you need to ensure you’re as protected as possible from liability should one of your rental properties get broken into. Many landlords are also requiring renter’s insurance to serve as an extra safeguard and keep their premiums low in case anything comes up. There are various coverage amounts available, so do your research beforehand and offer the different options to your renters to fit their personal budgetary needs.
Consider a Home Security System
If you’re truly concerned that the above-mentioned tactics won’t work or you’ve had a break in already, it might be time to consider investing in a home security system. The initial investment may be worth the losses you might have encountered in the case of a subsequent burglary, and you can always raise your rent prices to cover the costs. Consider enlisting the help of a professional security installation team to ensure your home is as protected as possible.
If you do go this route, make sure your tenants learn how to properly activate it—there’s no point in having an alarm system if it’s not on. It might be in your best interest to include alarm operation usage in your lease; in the event that tenants do not use it and a burglary happens, you’ll have it in writing that you’re not liable.
Safety should always be the first priority when you’ve decided to rent out property. Make sure you keep your tenants and their possessions protected and give yourself some peace of mind.
Lastly, have a good relationship with rental property neighbors, get their numbers and give them yours, you should be contacted in case of any emergency. If bad things do happen, you need to know immediately to get in action.
Readers, tell us your story, share what you know