10 Top Security Tips for Landlords

Landlord locked doorAs a landlord it makes sense to take security seriously. Burglaries can be a headache for you and a nightmare for your tenants. Take the following measures to make your property (and your investment) more secure:

Simple steps count Most burglars are opportunists, and if you can make their lives more difficult, they are likely to move onto an easier target. Government figures show that properties without any security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those with basic security.

Knowledge is power Your tenants might be new to the area or new to renting and any ‘inside knowledge’ will be well received. It’s a good idea to give new tenants a ‘security pack’ containing door and window keys, specific instructions for your property and more general security tips.

Doors and locks Burglars tend to use the door when breaking into a property; either by forcing the lock or kicking it down. A well-fitted door with robust jambs will slow burglars down and a five-lever mortice lock should stop them in their tracks. Deadbolts are another way of adding extra security for little cost. Window locks are also endorsed by insurers and could earn you a discount on cover.

Don’t forget outdoors Make sure that your fencing is secure and don’t tempt thieves by leaving your shed or garage unlocked.

Nowhere to hide Burglars like to lurk in the shadows and sneak about unnoticed so make sure nearby trees and bushes are cut well back. Motion activated security lighting can spoil burglars plans and make your tenants lives easier on dark nights.

Raise the alarm Burglar alarms are a proven deterrent and will give your tenants added peace of mind. Some insurers give discounts for fitting an approved alarm, but don’t automatically assume that you’ll get money off. If you do fit an alarm it’s important that it’s armed when the house is empty or you could accidentally invalidate your policy.

Get landlord insurance The secret of being a successful landlord is looking after your bottom line and that means making sure that your property is completely covered. Landlord insurance won’t stop things from going wrong, but it will help you get back on your financial feet. Landlord insurance can be tailored to cover a variety of risks, but typically includes buildings cover (with limited contents) and property owner’s liability insurance. Additional exposures which can be covered include legal expenses insurance and rent guarantee insurance. To find out more visit our Complete Guide to Landlords Insurance or for a tailored quote visit our Landlord Insurance page.

Careful with keys In a shared property it can be tempting to leave a spare set of keys in a ‘safe place’ (under the doormat or in a nearby flowerpot), but you can bet it’s the first place that burglars will look. Similarly, it’s worth warning your tenants of the dangers of leaving keys near the letterbox where they may be ‘fished’ by burglars.

Property left empty If you have a good relationship with your tenants it’s worth asking them to inform you when they are away so that you can keep an eye on the property. Keeping up appearances by cutting the grass and preventing post piling-up can help fool burglars and using timer switches to control lighting can make it look like someone’s home.

Check your tenants If you aren’t using a letting agency it’s essential to get references from previous landlords as well as running background checks to check potential tenants financial and criminal history.

 


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