Safety is of the utmost importance for landlords, as not only does it mean that your properties are less likely to be damaged, but also that your tenants will be protected during their tenancy.
However, keeping your property safe is not always easy, especially if it is based in an area that has a high crime rate or issues with anti-social behaviour.
Even properties in safe areas can be targeted, which means that it’s a good idea to carry out safety procedures on all of your properties regardless of where they are located.
Check the locks
It may sound obvious, but it’s actually surprising how many properties don’t have locks that work properly or are strong enough to withstand a break-in. Most people assume that just because there is a lock on their door, they are safe. However, this is often not the case.
Burglars are known to kick down doors or smash windows in order to get into properties, so it’s important you know that the locks on your houses can withstand their efforts.
For this reason, it is advisable to check the locks on your properties at least once a year to ensure that they haven’t become rusty, loose, or worn down from general wear and tear.
The good thing is that changing locks and bolts is relatively simple and cheap, meaning there is no excuse not to do it on a regular basis.
Invest in your windows
Installing double-glazing in your properties not only helps reduce utility bills but can also deter thieves. As double-glazing has two layers, it’s extremely difficult for burglars to break into your property, meaning that many won’t try in the first place.
Double-glazing also comes with the option to include locks on the handles, which means that if your tenants are going to be away for a long period of time, they can make sure their home is completely secure.
Just remember that even with double-glazing, it only takes a window to be left open a small crack for a burglary to happen, so remind your tenants on a frequent basis to make sure they lock everything up properly before leaving the house.
Garages and garden sheds
We all know someone who has left something in an unlocked garage or garden shed only to find the next day that it has been stolen.
Many people choose to leave their bicycles in garages or garden sheds overnight, which is why they are often the first place thieves tend to look. The problem is that some people forget that garages and garden sheds are essentially parts of their property and so need to be protected the same way as their homes.
Garages generally come with locks as standard, so all you need to do is remind your tenants to lock their garages as they would their properties.
When it comes to garden sheds, it may be an idea to visit your local hardware store and find appropriate locks. You should also make sure that you remind your tenants that if they are storing expensive items, such as bikes, in these places, they invest in locks of their own.
Talk to the community
Anti-social behaviour and burglaries tend to come in waves, which means that a number of houses in the same area are often burgled at the same time.
Naturally, the first thing to do if you are affected is to call the police and your landlord insurance provider.
However, after this it may also be wise to talk to your local community to see who else has been affected. This can help you find out more information on what the authorities are doing to solve the issue and if there is anything you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
If one of your houses is constantly being affected by theft, then it may be an idea to talk to your tenants and see if they would be happy to set up a neighbourhood watch programme with those living nearby.
Keeping your properties safe is extremely simple, and more often than not it’s just forgetfulness that leads to one of your properties being targeted by thieves. This is why it’s important you remind yourself to perform safety checks on a regular basis and talk to your tenants about how they can keep their home protected.