Landlords have numerous responsibilities other than monthly rent collection and screening potential tenants. They are responsible for routine maintenance and repairs and, most importantly, the safety of their tenants, and their belongings. Landlords must also take adequate measures to secure their own property.
In the real estate industry, especially in case of rental properties, reputation is a powerful factor that defines success and trustworthiness. If tenants feel unsafe and insecure, or if there are instances of property damage or breaking-and-entering, your reputation as a landlord is likely to suffer. The damage is likely to be severe in case the burglary or theft could have been prevented, and you did not take the necessary measures.
Keep reading to explore practical tips that will secure your property, and ensure the safety of your tenants, and their belongings.
Invest in Additional Lighting Fixtures
Streetlights are not enough to illuminate your rental property at nighttime, the most vulnerable hour for burglaries, and breaking-and-entering. Lack of sufficient illumination is a major safety hazard that can compromise the safety of your tenants and their belongings. You see, burglars and felons take cover in the dark of the night as they sneak in to steal your belongings, harm your tenants or damage your property.
Investing in additional external lighting fixtures is a great strategy to illuminate the outdoor areas, driveway and entrance. Additional lighting always makes a property stand out and command attention, thereby boosting the rental value, market significance and safety standards of your rental property.
If you’re willing to invest more to ensure safety, consider installing motion-sensor light to detect any unwanted presence or intrusions. Burglars steer clear of properties featuring motion-sensor lights, and even if they dare to venture, the lights will scare them away. These lights also act as a sign for tenants to investigate and alert law enforcement personnel in case of an intrusion.
Invest in Landlord’s Insurance
Do you have a landlord’s insurance policy? Most landlords and beginners shrug off the additional expense of insurance thinking they might never need it. But that’s only before there’s a massive pest infestation, mold growth or water damage on your property that requires thousands of dollars for repairs or renovations.
Often, the things we fear the most don’t least end up becoming our biggest nightmares. Insurance will protect your property against multiple hazards, including thieves and burglars, fires, floods, earthquakes, storms and other natural calamities. It’s hard to build defenses to prevent natural catastrophes that we cannot control.
But landlord’s insurance and property insurance are dynamic investments that will protect your financial interests in the worst-case scenario. You may naively assume you don’t need it, but once you entrust your property in the care of a tenant, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly household systems and structures start falling apart.
A home insurance policy provides financial security, and safeguards your investment in the event of all natural and unnatural calamities. You can also rely on insurance of repairs and special coverage, such as cleaning up after a heavy storm, or removing debris after an earthquake. Interestingly, insurance policies also cover costs for counseling after witnessing a traumatic event, such as unwanted intrusions or burglaries.
A Robust Home Security System
In this day and age, tenants are unlikely to rent accommodations devoid of a robust and comprehensive home security system. Reputable tenants and hard-working professionals desire rental accommodations that are fully-secure, and decked with innovative security features. Naturally, tenants wish to be in control of their safety, and that is only possible when they have access to security cameras and smart systems.
Interestingly, security cameras not only make a rental property safe, but they also increase its market value and rental rate. Home safety systems that come with carbon monoxide detectors and remote surveillance tools are all the rage, and can work wonders at attracting high-paying and reliable tenants.
With a little bit of research, you can easily find a mid-range security system that address your requirements. It’s crucial to choose systems that offer 24/7 surveillance, customer support, law enforcement alerts, theft monitoring, smart phone connectivity and other features. It may seem like a fruitless investment, but you can always adjust the cost in the rental rate.
Tenant Screening Process
Tenant screening processes are instrumental, and failure to conduct extensive background checks can put your property and your tenants at risk. Screening all potential tenants is vital to identify people with a criminal background, psychological disorders or illegal activities. Landlords dedicate most of their safety concerns towards thieves, burglars, and natural hazards.
What about tenants who are criminals, convicted felons, terrorists or involved in other illegal activities? Many landlords consider themselves an excellent judge of character, but con artists and swindlers wear many masks, making it hard to identify their true identity.
Therefore, its crucial to rely on technology and digital tools to run extensive background checks and evaluate their credit reports. You can also consult the law enforcement agencies or local police to assist with background checks and share history of criminal activities. Back in the day, running background checks and obtaining credit reports for a troublesome process.
But today, landlords have access to digital resources, software, and online platforms to obtain credit reports, and learn more about potential tenants. Even after background checks and credit report evaluation, its essential to sit down for an interview and a final assessment.
If your rental property is your primary source of generating income, you must undertake all measures possible to safeguard your investment and tenants. As a landlord, you are legally obligated to protect your tenants and their belongings, and in the events of a disaster or unfortunate incident, the responsibility for financial coverage will fall on you.
Undertaking the above-mentioned measures will help you secure your property and tenants against all calamities and intruders. More importantly, these safety measures will elevate your market standing and reputation as a landlord. They will also improve the market value and increase the rental rate of your property.