Tips for Landlords – How to Keep Your Place Safe

As a landlord, keeping your place safe protects your investment and income while keeping your tenants happy. As you will see, the work you do to keep your place safe can prevent interruptions to a tenancy or unnecessary bills later down the line.

According to Safe At Last, of the 2.5 million burglaries in the US each year, about two-thirds are home break-ins. A typical, ten-minute burglary tends to lead to a loss of around $2,500. And, of course, burglary is not the only risk to a property, whether it is tenanted or not.

Fortunately, a few simple actions can help prevent injury, damage, and loss. Here’s how to keep your place safe for your peace of mind, the protection of your property, and to attract and maintain great tenants.

Safety checks

As a landlord, annual safety checks help ensure that your property will remain in working condition without a serious risk of damage, injury, or even loss of life. Look at legal requirements in your state and perform these safety reviews as a minimum.

When it comes to making sure your place is as safe as possible, it’s essential to perform a gas safety check, if applicable, as well as checking portable appliances. An electrical safety test may help prevent a fire. Check fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly and ask your tenants to do the same.

Vet tenants

While there are plenty of ways to protect your property and make it a safe place to live, one of the most effective things you can do is screen your tenants. If you are looking for new tenants, it’s important to ask for references and verify them. A good character reference will give you peace of mind.

You can verify the identity of potential tenants using Nuwber. Its significant database of US residents will help you confirm that your potential tenants are who they say they are. 

It’s wise to use Nuwber to check the validity of their referees, too. This will help ensure that these are true references and make an accurate impression of the potential tenant.

Property manager

A property manager can check on the property and the tenants on your behalf. If you can’t do this yourself or you want some reliable help to manage your property, this can help avoid issues and keep your property safer.

If your property is currently empty, having a property manager check in regularly will be good for security as they create a presence as well as deal with issues. If you have tenants, a property manager can check in regularly to ensure the property is safe and in good condition.

Doors and Windows

When it comes to security, maintaining doors and windows is critical. If it’s been a while since the doors and windows were replaced, it’s worth considering modern doors that may be more secure.

Look for doors made from heavy-duty materials and solid locking mechanisms. Deadbolts and chains add an extra level of security for tenants.

Anyone considering breaking and entering will examine your windows, so make sure you do this before they do. Ensure that your windows have locking mechanisms that cannot be opened from outside. Window sensors can alert you if anyone is tampering with a window.

Install a (Visible) Security System

Most homes don’t yet have a security system, making them more likely targets for criminals. It’s getting easier and more affordable to install a security system that incorporates cameras for home surveillance.

A security system might be an alarm that sounds due to unauthorized access. Motion sensors can alert you to unexpected movement within the property.

While you will not be allowed to have security cameras inside your tenanted property, you can use them on stairwells and outdoors to monitor access and to allow your tenant to monitor access.

Cameras can be hidden, but consider that they can be effective visual deterrents. Even if your camera is not hooked up to anything, it can still deter burglars who tend to look for easy targets with low risk.

Keep Entrances Clear

When it comes to deterring burglars, these criminals benefit from having places to break and enter unseen. While trees, hedges, and shrubs can be good for privacy, they are also good for criminals who wish to work in concealment.

Make an effort to keep entrances clear at the front and the back of the property so that anyone attempting to enter is visible.

Add Lighting

Keeping your place illuminated at night can help keep it safe. Like a security system and a clear entryway, lighting can help deter potential burglars who prefer to work in shadows. A front porch light operated from inside can be effective. However, you might favor a motion sensor light that reacts to the approach of a person or their vehicle. A strong light that illuminates the entire porch is best.

Seriously consider a similar option for an alleyway or a yard at the rear. Wherever people can enter, let there be light. As well as reducing the opportunities for criminal activity, light also makes people and the environment feel safe.

Regular maintenance

While some landlords may be tempted to let things slide until someone complains or things come to a head, keeping on top of maintenance issues tends to be a far more cost-effective way to manage a property. By performing maintenance routinely, you are more likely to discover issues and be able to fix them before they become crises.

A routine maintenance practice is great for your budget, your time, your tenant’s wellbeing, and your property’s safety. Regular maintenance can avoid damage and loss caused by leaks, wiring issues, unsafe solutions instigated by tenants, and more.

One of the major benefits of keeping your property safe is peace of mind. It’s good for you, your future or current tenants, and the property itself. With some attention to detail and a little help from technology, your property will be better maintained and generally safer.

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