Your rental property is your livelihood and a home for your tenants. It’s important to have proper safety measures in place to avoid damage, injury, and theft on the premises. The safety of your tenants and visitors is part of your responsibility and you must do your due diligence to ensure that no harm will come to anyone.
Property security reduces the threat of criminal activities that can harm your tenants or damage your property. Managing a rental property means taking responsibility for the security common areas in and around the building. Deterring thieves and preventing vandalism are important considerations for property managers.
Are you doing all you can to keep your rental property safe and secure? Read through our top 9 considerations and see if you can improve the safety and security of your rental property.
1. Keep Doors Secure
Doors need to keep unwelcome visitors out while allowing entry to authorized individuals. Electronic devices such as key cards and fobs are quickly becoming the norm and it’s easy to understand why. Unlike key style locks that need to be replaced upon tenant move-out, electronic devices need only be reprogrammed to be secure and ready for the next tenant.
Doors to tenant units should be scrutinized too. Along with a solid lock, consider adding chain locks and peepholes for additional property security. Avoid doors with glass inlays as these can be broken either intentionally or by accident.
It’s important that doors be secure and keep unauthorized people out, it’s equally important that they let people out quickly and easily. Take proper safety measures and ensure that doors open freely without sticking. If doors don’t open properly it could be a fire evacuation hazard.
2. Have Adequate Lighting
One of the easiest ways to avert injuries and deter crime is to install proper lighting. Public hallways and stairwells need to always be well lit as one of the safety measures to prevent injuries. Lights in these areas can be motion activated or simply left on at all times.
Motion activated lighting can be useful outdoors as well and may deter criminal activity for increased property security. Outdoor lighting can also be set on a timer or activated by darkness. Ensure there is good lighting at every door and dispersed throughout the property.
3. Install Security Cameras
Improve property security by installing security cameras. Multi-dwelling buildings can benefit from cameras placed at all entry points and in common areas. This option can allow one person to watch multiple areas at once or record video for later viewing.
Single unit dwellings can benefit from security cameras too. Cloud based security systems allow cameras to stream video directly to the cloud. Footage can then be viewed remotely from a device with internet access.
4. Hire A Security Guard
Larger multi-dwelling buildings can increase property security by having a guard on site at all times. They can check visitors in, monitor security cameras, and inspect the property. Having a manned security desk or booth is a good deterrent to criminals and knowing there is a guard on site can give you and your tenants peace of mind.
5. Proper Tenant Screening
Sometimes the threat to your property security can come from the inside making proper tenants screening that much more important. It’s a good idea to perform background checks on tenants before signing the lease. While the information a background check may uncover should be considered in the context of the big picture, it can help you uncover details that help you to determine if a tenant may be a threat to the safety and security of your property and the people who live there.
6. Keep Walkways And Hallways Clear
Areas where people walk should always be free of snow, ice, and debris with proper railings where necessary. Take proper safety measures to prevent accidents due to falls. Furthermore any obstacles could slow people down if the building ever needed to be evacuated.
It’s a good idea to keep outdoor paths clear and open to improve property security. Trim shrubs and remove other obstructions that may reduce the effectiveness of cameras or block people’s line of sight. Tenants and visitors will feel safer if you remove places for people and animals to hide.
7. Secure The Windows
In many buildings windows are often a vulnerability that can pose an issue to your property security. Any windows that open should have working locks and must close securely. Windows that can be accessed from the ground floor should have pins preventing them from being opened too wide and those windows on higher floors should not open at all for safety measures.
8. Have Units Alarm System Ready
It’s a smart investment to have units wired for alarm systems. The added safety measures can be a selling point for potential tenants and demonstrates your commitment to property security. You may not be able to offer monitoring but having the unit alarm system ready may be the nudge tenants need to subscribe to the service.
9. Inspect Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It is usually the responsibility of tenants to ensure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning. However it’s a good idea to check this equipment at every routine inspection. Ensuring that the safety measures you have in place are being utilized keeps your property secure and your tenants safe.
The safety and security considerations for your rental property should be part of your annual inspections. View your properties with a critical eye and look for potential hazards and security vulnerabilities. Keep your properties secure and your tenants safe for a long and mutually beneficial relationship.