Home security is a big issue nowadays, and while homeowners can implement every solution they afford, renters rely on their landlords to keep the property safe from intrusions. If you’re a landlord or a host, the security of your tenants and guests should be among your top priorities. Let’s look into the most efficient ways of raising the security bar in rental properties.
Invest in adequate lighting
Lighting is one of the best deterrents for intruders and trespassers. You should have proper lighting installed, both inside and outside of your property. Make sure the hallways and stairwells are well lit. These lights should be on, even during the night. Any burnt bulbs need to be replaced immediately. On the outside, illuminate both the front and the back of your property. You can leave them on throughout the night or have them activated by motion sensors. A combination of both is perhaps the best.
Install security cameras
For added security, consider including CCTV cameras at your property. This option makes more sense if your rental is a multi-family unit, so more tenants can benefit from the extra cost. Security cameras are best placed at the front entrance, back door, in common areas, stairwells, hallways, driveways, and parking. Just make sure you don’t place any in tenants’ private areas.
Clear the entrances
Make sure there are no obstructions around the entrances and walkways where the intruder may hide. This is especially important if you have security cameras installed, as a burglar may use ‘natural cover’ to sneak up on the house. These include large shrubs that surround the doorway and block the view from the street. Using this concealment, a crook may work on the lock unworried about being seen.
Secure the doors
There are several ways you can make your rental entrances more secure. It all starts with the door construction, as all entries and exits on your property need to use solid doors, made of heavy-duty materials like steel or reinforced wood. Doors with opaque glass panes are decorative but provide little security against resolute burglars. For extra security, tenants’ doors should also have a peephole, so they can always see who is outside, even with a solid construction.
Fortify the locks
Apart from standard locks that come with the door, equipping every entrance or exit door with a deadbolt lock is a wise investment. This ingenious solution prevents the bolt from being forced out of the door jamb and opens only by inserting and rotating the correct key. Inquire at your 24-hour locksmith service about the best way to install deadbolts. Keep in mind, though, that double-deadbolts are banned in certain areas since they are difficult to open from inside in case of fire.
Wire in the intercom
Especially useful in multifamily rentals, an intercom allows the tenants to communicate with a person at the front door, without exposing themselves or having to let them inside the building. The tenants can let in only people they trust. The intercom is often used in combination with motion sensor lights and CCTV cameras.
Secure the windows
Unfortunately, doors aren’t the only way crooks can enter a property. You must take care that all the windows are secured as well. Every window should have a working lock, even if the unit is on the third floor. Locking the windows is important since burglars sometimes use fire escape. A step further would be installing security bars to the first-floor windows. While these may mar the aesthetic appeal of your property, it’s between you and your tenants to decide if such a precaution is necessary.
Screen your tenants
In reality, rental property-related crime is not only committed by outsiders. In some cases, the tenants are those found guilty of criminal acts such as robbery, assault and drug dealing. By hiring a professional detective to perform background checks on all tenants, you can tell if the individual has a criminal past, so you can determine if these tenants are a threat to security and safety of other tenants on your property. All the modifications that contribute to the improved security of your tenants are a good investment. By securing your rental property, you’re not only taking steps to protect your tenants, but also your reputation as a landlord.
by Lillian Connors