As a landlord, it’s your responsibility that your rental property is highly-secured. You may even have had a tenant whose rental had been broken into or experienced this yourself. Dealing with the aftermath of a home invasion can be quite unnerving.
Here at Keyrenter New England, we take specific measures to try and prevent such occurrences. Whether it’s getting a heavier door or installing a security system, the end goal is the same – to have a safe and comfortable place to call home for your tenants.
Here are some tips on how you can improve the security of your rental property.
Secure the Front Door
The main entrance is the easiest and most preferred way for intruders to gain access to a property. Therefore, you need to make sure the front entrance of your rental unit is secured at all times. This would entail keeping it locked or upgrading the locking systems.
A good place to start would be to install a single or double-cylinder deadbolt. While both these options are effective, a double-cylinder lock is more difficult for an intruder to try and open the door from the inside.
You can also take it a step further and replace the front door with one that is much harder to break. You may want to consider a solid wooden door, a metal door, or a combination of both. These doors require a lot more effort to bypass, giving your tenants ample time to raise the alarm.
Upgrade the Windows
Another route that burglars like to use is open or unsecured windows. To prevent intruders from opening them from the outside, you can install a window lock.
Window locks make it more difficult for intruders to gain access to your investment property. While it might not prevent them from breaking it and crawling inside, most burglars prefer not to draw attention to themselves. Dealing with shards of glass from a broken window can also be a deterrent under such circumstances.
Install a Modern Security System
Modern security systems are a great way to prevent a home invasion. They are easy to install and will automatically raise an alarm if the passcode isn’t keyed in. Having a security system installed can also make your property more attractive to renters in the market.
However, there are some considerations you need to make when installing this system. They include:
- Check your insurance policy. Find out what your insurer has to say about security system installation. Some companies might be willing to offer a discount to landlords with monitored systems.
- Request for a separate access code. During installation, you can request a master code that you can use for emergencies. This would be separate from the tenant’s access code and it would bypass the security if the need arises.
- Guide the tenant on how to use the system. While the system might be familiar to some, it is good practice to explain how it works. You should also instill the necessity of having the access codes memorized and not written down on paper.
Install Perimeter Lighting
Perimeter lights are a good deterrent for burglars looking to break in with the cover of night. Having external lights at certain points on the property can help to discourage any attempts to trespass.
Be sure to install external lights at all the entrances and next to any dark corners of your property. You can also use motion sensor lighting to brighten any pathways or shrubs. This will make the property easier to see at night and deter any intruders.
Eliminate Potential Hiding Spots
In addition to installing external lights, you may want to eliminate any potential hiding places or blind spots on the property. This may involve trimming or clearing any shrubs or overgrown trees. In doing so, the perimeter of your property will become more visible and discourage any attempts of a break-in.
However, if you have a garden on your property, it is advisable to try landscaping rather than clearing the entire area. A good landscaping artist can make your property more attractive while eliminating any potential hiding places.
Reconsider Hiding Your Spare Key
While having your spare key placed safely outside the property is important, most burglars have become aware of these hiding spots. Placing your key under a rock or in a flowerpot is no longer a viable option.
Instead, you may want to consider giving your spare key to a family member or a trusted friend. If you prefer not to, you may try a safer option such as a concealed lockbox. Keeping your spare key in a more secure location can make your rental unit much safer.
Keep a Detailed Record of Your Household Items
As a landlord, it is good practice to keep an updated record of all the items on your property. Documenting all your household items makes it easier to trace what is missing in the event of a break-in. In doing so, you can file a claim with your insurer and have it replaced. Some of the details you should document include:
- The name of the item
- The serial number
- The manufacturer’s details
- The color
- A picture of the item
It is important to have these details written down for all the valuable items on your property, especially if you own a rental. In some instances, former tenants may try to leave with your household items, resulting in significant losses. Having a detailed record ensures you know exactly what is missing and enables you to charge for the items.
Improving the security of your property can go a long way in making it a more attractive place to live for potential tenants. Every renter wants to live in a comfortable place, without having to worry about the threat of intruders. Following these tips can help to minimize the risk of burglars accessing your rental property.
Here at Keyrenter New England, we understand what it takes to keep your property safe and in good condition. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your rental property maximize its potential.