Tips to Keep Your Home (and Investment) Safe
Landlords have a primary duty of keeping their rental unit and tenants safe from intruders. No matter how appealing your rental property is, if the security is poor, tenants are bound to look elsewhere.
To maximize and protect your investment property, it’s important to beef up your home security. The stress of dealing with theft, burglary and trespassers can be high. It’s much better to prioritize keeping your unit safe from these bad situations.
Here are some things you can do to keep unwelcome visitors out of your rental property:
1. Focus on the security of your main entrances
As the main access points of your property, doors must be solid and equipped with durable locks. You can install deadbolts and choose sturdy door frames, making it hard for intruders to force doors open.
Find a strong material as a door base, such as metal or solid wood. Strong doors and locks are the first line of defense against trespassers.
When a tenant moves out, make sure to rekey the locks. If an eviction was the reason for leaving the tenant leaving the rental space, then that's all the more reason you have to solidify your door security.
2. Don't neglect your window security
Another vulnerable area for access are the windows of your rental unit. Burglars tend to focus on them when the doors are locked. Set up sturdy latches, since residents may fail to lock the windows when they're not home.
They should also be opened only slightly, preventing intruders from crawling through.
Make it difficult for trespassers to climb through windows by locking them. Most intruders don't smash windows since this makes noise.
3. Set up outdoor lights
Another helpful security measure is external lighting, especially motion sensor lights. Since intruders generally want to stay hidden, sensor lighting is a deterrent. As a landlord, you should invest in external lighting for major entranceways or wherever someone could hide.
When potential robbers realize they're being spotlighted, they'll want to take cover. Setting up lighting in potential hidden places can lower their chance of successfully hiding and sticking around.
Exterior lighting offers major safety for renters. Burglars will often leave a property when their presence is made obvious through a good lighting system.
4. Strengthen the security system in your rental unit
While an initial investment is required to update or install a security system, the payoff is well worth it over the long term. A good security system promotes peace of mind when it comes to safety. It'll deter burglars from attempting to trespass and robbing the rental.
You'll need to have functional security systems in place if you want to have a good relationship with your tenants. Discuss the importance of following security procedures with your renters, and tell them how to use the security systems properly.
Most renters actually feel more relieved and welcome additional security systems for their personal safety. In fact, some will pay extra for having added security measures in place.
5. Promote the security of your unit
Inform potential trespassers that you have an active security system installed by posting signs on your yard and near the front door. This can deter intruders, since they usually prefer to target houses with poor security.
Make sure to put up general signs and avoid advertising the specific model of your security system. Some intruders are knowledgeable of circumventing or disabling specific safety equipment, so you don't want to tell them which brand you have.
6. Clear away potential hiding places
If you have lots of trees and tall shrubs in your rental home, these can become hiding places for intruders. Consider trimming your hedges and clearing away huge decorative plants outside your unit. Minimize hidden areas to protect your home and tenants.
Often, intruders will hide near the property and wait for renters to leave the house. Make it hard for them to stay hidden; set up sensor lights, alarms, and make sure the yard is clear so they can't get around unnoticed. Doors and windows should be kept locked at all times when the residents leave the house.
7. Document your items
In the case of a break-in and burglary, the police will often request a report of missing items. It’s important to have a handy copy of the lost articles in your rental unit. This ensures that all things are recorded properly.
Take note of details such as the model name, colour, and serial number for proper identification. Document your furniture, appliances, paintings/decorations, electronics, and other valuable possessions you have.
Considerations Before Updating Security Systems
Communication is crucial before upgrading any security systems in your rental. You can’t just replace the locks in your unit, whether you’re a tenant or landlord, without discussing with the other party. This would be against Saskatchewan landlord-tenant law.
As a landlord, we advise you to change the password to your security system and re-key your doors when a tenant leaves following a tenancy.
Upgrading security systems is a great way for landlords to offer more safety to the tenants. It also lowers your stress knowing that the property is well-protected.