Your landlords, have a responsibility to keep your rental properties as safe and secure as possible. Tenants want to know that they can live comfortably and safely in their home, and it can help to minimise tenant turnover as people who feel safe are more likely to remain in the property for longer periods. But, security can often be an expense that they don’t want to shell out for.
The good news is that there are ways to make a home more secure without it costing a fortune, reducing the risk of vandalism and theft. Here are a few ways that landlords can create a secure property with minimum expense.
1. Install a security system
A high-tech security system isn’t just a benefit for landlords, but it also provides peace of mind for tenants too. It could spell the difference between the best tenant choosing one property over another. Security systems don’t need to be complex to be effective. In fact, technology has evolved enough that you don’t need to spend a fortune to feel as though you’re securing the property effectively.
From smart alarm systems to alert unauthorised access or attempted entry, to motion sensors to detect movement and CCTV cameras. You can create a master code for security systems and enable tenants to have their own personal access codes for privacy.
2. Light up the home
An easy but highly effective way to make your tenants feel safe, while also preventing criminal activity, is to add outdoor lighting. Would-be criminals tend to be deterred by well-lit areas as it makes them vulnerable to witnesses, so it’s always a good idea to have lights fitted to the exterior of the property to keep it safe and avoid a break-in.
Solar or LED lights are an effective solution that provide a great source of lighting and are very affordable, as well as being low maintenance as you won’t need to worry about replacing batteries or an increase to your tenants’ electricity bills. Fit these lights near entry points to the property but also near driveways and gardens where criminals may try to gain access from.
3. Automate the garage door
If the property comes with an adjoining garage, it’s vital that it’s kept secure because not only is it likely to store valuable, expensive items that could be stolen but it could also serve as another entry point for burglars. One way to increase security is to make sure your garage door is automated. Automation isn’t just a convenient feature for tenants, but it also makes it much harder for vandals and criminals to do damage or gain access to the property. Garage doors are common targets for entry to properties, and they’re also often overlooked by property owners, so don’t neglect this area when securing your rental property.
4. Secure windows and doors
Windows are a vulnerable area of any home, and are a common target for opportunist thieves. Even if the windows of your rental property have a mechanism to prevent them from being opened from the outside, they can still be broken into. And if the windows don’t have a lock, it’s even easier for your property to be accessed by someone other than your tenants.
Installing locks is the first step to making the property more secure, but it’s also important to remind tenants to lock up if they’re leaving the house. Window sensors can also be installed for a relatively low cost that will sound an alarm if the windows are ever meddled with, with alerts sent to your smartphone so you know precisely when the property is at risk. For added peace of mind, encourage tenants to use a door jammer for additional protection.
5. Find the right insurance
Landlords may be thinking of the physical changes they can make to your rental property, but have they considered the unforeseen costs that will come your way if the home is broken into? Landlords need to have the right insurance policy in place to protect the assets of the property and any furnishings. Liability insurance is a worthwhile addition to property maintenance, making sure that the home is protected, for only a small amount of money every month. The right insurance will give landlords the confidence that the home is protected from a financial perspective as well as physically. It is worth remembering that securing your garage to prevent easy access for would-be thieves will also keep your insurance company happy.
5. Conduct regular inspections
In the property market, prevention is always cheaper than the cure, so you want to do all you can to avoid costly repairs. By dropping by a few times a year, you can check on the health of the property and spot any issues that tenants may not have seen as a problem. For example, a lock might be broken on a window, there might be a blind spot on the security cameras or the smart doorbell might not be working properly.
These faults could cost you and your tenants if they lead to a break-in, so make sure that you’re scheduling in visits periodically to give the property a scan and check for these issues before they cause problems.
A rental property is an investment so it stands to reason that you want to protect it from damage. Keep your buy-to-let home secure to protect it from break-ins while also giving tenants the confidence that they can live in the home safely.