Vetting prospective tenants, collecting rent, safeguarding security deposits, and responding to regular maintenance and repair requests; all of these are tasks that make up the bulk of a landlord’s responsibilities.
But one factor that should be among the most important considerations is home security. While it may seem obvious, it is more than possible for even the best landlord to overlook the basic safety requirements that will keep their tenants safe and secure.
Fortunately, even essential security protocols do not have to require a ton of additional steps and considerations. Simple additions or upgrades may be enough to protect long term tenants. So, let’s take a look at five essential security protocols every landlord should implement to protect their renters.
1. Block Public Sight Lines
Any home or apartment with public facing windows offers its tenants a great view and plenty of natural lighting. But it also provides outside prying eyes with a view into the private lives of your tenants- and the layout of their home. In order to protect your tenants from invasive gazes, make sure to install curtains or blinds over every window. Even a sheer gauze curtain can go a long way towards obscuring direct views into the apartment or home.
Preventing clear public sight lines is also important for preventing break-ins or attempted robberies. If would be thieves can easily map out where precious objects are located in the home, it will be all the easier for them to strike as soon as residents of that home step out for the evening. Obscuring views of the interior spaces can serve as a first line of defense against theft and can help prevent thieves from navigating and accessing precious spaces in the home.
2. Change the Locks
In between tenants, you should always change the locks. It may seem like a lot of extra effort to go to, but the more restricted the access to the home space is, the more secure it will be. If the lock has been the same for two, three, four, or more rounds of different tenants, then there will be plenty of people who will still have access to the space, long after they have moved out. And if any of those previous tenants made duplicate keys to give to a friend, neighbor, or family member, it will be hard to trace just how many people have access to the apartment.
Changing the locks between tenants is an easy and not very expensive way to boost home security for your new tenants coming in, which protects them, as well as the entire property, from unwanted visitors or intruders.
3. Upgrade to Smart Locks
New smart home technology has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. The field of home security is one area that tech developers have focused their innovations, resulting in simple and affordable smart home security gadgets that can help protect tenants and rental properties.
When you go to change the locks between tenants, take the opportunity to upgrade to a smart lock. Smart locks can be programmed to sync to specific smartphones via a Bluetooth connection, meaning that your tenants’ close friends, relatives, and other trusted frequent visitors can be granted access to the home without a key. Just make sure the property has a strong, stable Wi-fi connection to prevent any glitches or blocked access due to a faulty internet network.
Smart locks often come equipped with a programmable digital keypad as well, so your tenants’ teenaged children can enter the home with a personal pin code if they forget their physical key. That means less late-night phone calls to you, the landlord, to let your tenants in if you are the only spare keyholder. And it means a more secure property.
4. Install a Security Camera
Security cameras are an essential security asset for monitoring the comings and goings of people surrounding your rental property. This is another area where switching to a smart home upgrade might be well worth the price. Smart security cameras will allow your tenants to check in with their property even when they are at work, away on vacation, or just out running errands.
Most smart security cameras will provide a digital live stream of the front porch activities directly to your tenants’ smartphones or tablets, so they can make sure no one suspicious is making repeat visits to their doorstep to scope out whether or not the home would be easy to break into. Installing this type of security camera is a great way to scare off any potential home invaders, and to empower your tenants to regularly monitor the security of the rental property.
Some smart security cameras even offer facial recognition technology and 360-degree views. Particularly if your tenants are elderly, or if you are renting to families with young kids, you may want to consider installing a doorbell that syncs to the security camera, so tenants can check before they open the door to a stranger.
5. Make Sure You Have a Solid Door
Particularly for multi-family residences with a separate public-facing entry way, you will want to make sure to install a solid core door. Avoid any weak or breakable materials, like glass, which could easily be destroyed by criminals. Instead, opt for a heavy-duty steel or wood door, which will not easily budge under force. Hollow core and lightweight materials may be sufficient for interior doors, but the door that leads to the outside world should be sturdy, solid, and unbreakable. That will keep tenants secure behind the first line of defense.
Simple Steps for Top Security
In general, as the landlord of any building, whether it is a single-family home, a condominium, or a multi-family apartment building, you should prioritize security for the sake of your tenants and your property itself.
Thoroughly screen tenants before they start renting from you. Post emergency phone numbers in visible places so tenants can reach out for help in case of an emergency.
It is so important to prevent break ins, robberies, and invasions of privacy for your residents. Follow the five guidelines we have listed above; you will be sure to keep your tenants safe and secure.