As a landlord, you need to do whatever you can to protect the investment you’ve made in your properties. That’s because a lot is going to get thrown at you. Tenant issues, maintenance, upgrades, safety and you have to be prepared.
Part of your preparation is asking yourself some questions: What happens when an emergency strikes? Do you have enough fire extinguishers? Is your smoke alarm working? Do you have an alarm system? What can I do to make the property more secure? Who are your tenants? Did you screen them and do you have accurate information about them?
These 8 security tips will help you find the answers, keep your property secure and give you peace of mind for the long term.
Install Locks On All Doors and Windows
Even if you think your neighborhood is safe, this is the most basic security precaution you can take.
Your protection is doubled if you install locks that are pick and snap-proof. Deadbolts are good options. If you need to, invest in doors made of stronger materials.
You need to remind tenants of their role in keeping the property safe and their responsibility for locking the doors and windows in their apartments.
Put Up a Fence If There Isn’t One Already
The saying good fences make good neighbors shouldn’t be taken lightly. It defines the space between your tenants and your neighbors, which goes a long way to finishing conflicts before they start.
The other thing about a fence is that it makes it harder for anyone who doesn’t live there to get onto the property. It makes them more noticeable to both tenants and neighbors, as someone climbing the fence signals something illegal might be happening.
Trim Any Hedges or Trees on The Property
You don’t want to provide any places for burglars to hide. Trim hedges and trees, especially through those near upper windows.
You don’t want to provide access to the rental in an area where tenants won’t even realize someone is in their home.
Ensure whose responsibility for regular maintenance of any trees or shrubbery is clear in the lease agreement.
Install an Alarm and Security System
The level of sophistication of your alarm and security system will depend on your budget and your tenant’s needs.
An alarm will let you or your tenants know that security has been breached. The burglar may even be scared off.
A security system with a camera will allow you to monitor the property in real-time. Some models will even alert the police for you if there is a break-in or an attempt.
Have Regular Inspections to Check for Any Damage or Repairs that Need to be Done
As a landlord, part of your obligation to your tenant is to see that the property is in the best shape possible.
See that broken windows, doors, and locks are repaired promptly. Respond quickly to any repair requests from tenants.
Inspect the property yourself regularly to see that everything is as it should be. You may see something your tenants miss.
Engage in maintenance and upkeep
Security isn’t just about keeping bad people out and valuables in. It’s also about fire prevention and disaster preparedness.
Make sure all fire extinguishers on the property work. If you own an apartment building, there should also be an egress plan in case of a fire or emergency. Ensure that your tenants know it.
Make sure all alarms (smoke, fire, security) on the site work as well.
A maintenance program will help with this. If you can’t do this yourself, hire a facilitator manager or company to do it for you.
Keep records of all tenants and their contact information
This is so you can reach your tenants in case of an emergency. If you live on-site, you may need to check the source of a gas leak and may need your tenant’s permission to enter the rental.
Screen potential tenants carefully before renting to them
Sometimes, the security threat you face is your tenant. Landlords need to do their due diligence not just for their other tenants’ but their own as well.
The first stage of any rental should be information gathering. Does the tenant have the ability to pay the rent? Has the tenant been problematic at any other rental?
There are private companies that source this information for you and most potential tenants won’t mind permitting you to do so.
Do you need the windows, doors, and locks at your rental or apartment complex assessed? Call us at 1 305 984 9922 or visit our website for more information.