As a landlord, you never want anything bad to happen to your properties, especially if it’s something like a fire or burglary that negatively impacts your tenants, but the fact is that things happen. There are bad actors in the world and sometimes bad things happen, including property theft and damage. The question, then, is – what can you do to protect your tenants?
Landlords have certain responsibilities when it comes to their tenants’ safety and tenants have their own priorities when it comes to deciding where to live. It’s important to pay attention to these issues so that you can offer tenants appropriate protection without overwhelming them or breaking the bank.
Light It Up
One of the best ways to protect your properties from break-ins is by ensuring there is sufficient lighting throughout the complex, including on all sides of buildings. Good lighting is an excellent deterrent for burglars, since it makes it harder for them to approach and enter a property without being detected. Lighting is also a good investment because it’s relatively affordable and makes it safer for tenants coming home late at night.
Lock Up Tight
Like lighting, secure locks can be a deterrent to burglars, but landlords are often reticent to provide too many locks because it increases the likelihood that tenants will lose a key or lock themselves out. Still, strong locks are obviously essential, so make sure tenants have the option to apply at least two locks to their main entries and exits. Since most properties bar modifying property locks, this falls to you as the landlord to provide.
Understand The Crime
Most people don’t know the difference between theft, burglary, and breaking and entering, but as a landlord, this is information worth knowing and educating your tenants about. It may not seem important, but it can inform the advice you give your tenants. “If you hide a key somewhere and someone uses it to break in, that’s still considered breaking and entering,” explains Terre Haute attorney Rowdy Williams. That being said, many people are hesitant to come forward if this happen because they may feel it’s their own fault. Providing better support for tenants who are accidentally locked out of their property can prevent them from feeling they need to do this in the first place.
Mind Your Yard
As a landlord, you have a number of responsibilities to your tenants and, as with providing appropriate lighting, other forms of maintenance fall within your purview. That includes making sure grass and hedges are trimmed to appropriate heights, repairing fences, and responding to tenant requests for repairs to items like window locks and screens. It’s also important that you re-key all common locks if even one key is lost, for the protection of your tenants and their property.
Preventing burglaries is a shared responsibility between landlords and tenants – landlords provide the tools, while tenants put them into practice by locking up after themselves, closing their blinds, and being careful with their keys. Still, break-ins can happen at any time, and when that happens, responding with compassion and support for your tenants is what matters most.