How to Protect Your Rental Property from a Break In
One of your responsibilities as a landlord is to make sure your rental property is safe for tenants. Failing to provide basic security like working locks on doors and windows can lead to a violation of the lease - by you. But there are also other compelling reasons why it’s important to secure your property and prevent break ins.
Tenants rarely want to live in a home or neighborhood where they don’t feel safe. Knowing break ins have happened in the past can hurt your ability to rent the property in the future. And, most important to your bottom line, you may not be able to get competitive rent in a home that’s not perceived as safe for tenants.
The best way to prevent any of these problems is to prevent break ins from occurring at all. Making sure your rental is secure and your tenants feel safe will help you attract better quality renters and possible ask for a higher monthly rent.
Here’s what you need to do.
Make sure all external doors are heavy and secure. Avoid doors that are cheap, flimsy, or hollow as these are easier to break down and kick in. You should also avoid doors with large glass panes for the same reason.
Check the locks on all doors to make sure they work.
Install a double cylinder deadbolt lock as well as your standard handle and lock. This gives your tenants extra protection from a burglar.
Add a chain lock and/or choose a door with a peephole to allow tenants to easily see who’s at their door without needing to open it all the way. Aggressive would-be criminals may attempt to push their way through an open door - this prevents this from happening.
Make sure all windows can be shut and locked. Thieves can and will come through a window as easily as a door.
In higher-crime neighborhoods, security bars on the windows may be necessary. If you want the added security without the ugly look, you can also add window sensors. An alarm will go off if the window is breached. Tenants in the home will hear it, and a notification can be sent to a smartphone, too.
Add plenty of outdoor lighting. Choose motion sensor lights as well as lighting with a timer.
Consider adding a home security system. Tenants will appreciate the added value and security, and you may be able to charge a higher rent to offset the extra cost.
You can’t prevent a crime from occurring, even in the best neighborhoods, but you can make sure your property isn’t an easy target. Securing your rental is more than your responsibility as a landlord. It’s also important to retaining good tenants and renting your property at the right price.
Keeping your rentals secure and taking care of your tenants is a big job. If you’re overwhelmed, stressed, and don’t know where to start, work with a property management company who can help. Here at ERA American Real Estate, we can help you with every part of the rental process from marketing your property to keeping your tenants secure in their rental. Contact us today!