A rental property break-in is a nightmare for rental property owners. It has the potential to scare away tenants, giving them just-cause to exit their lease, and even tarnish your reputation as landlord. A break-in can result in considerable property damage that the property owner will have to pay for out of pocket. It is also possible for the break-in to expose the landlord to liability claims. The end result is lost time, money and energy. The best way to avoid this headache and expense is to protect your rental property from a break-in.
How to protect your rental property from a break-in
Install a security system
Add a security system to your rental property and you will dramatically reduce the chances of a break-in. You will also gain invaluable peace of mind for both the tenant and landlord. Consider the following statistic provided by the FBI: properties that lack a security system are upwards of three times more likely to be burglarized. A rental property security system will detect home intruders and notify the police right away. This system typically also includes warning signs placed on the exterior of your rental property that can help to deter potential burglars.
Secure windows against burglars
Burglars commonly use windows as a means of entering the home so every single window on your rental property must be secured. Consider adding security bars to windows on the ground floor in tough neighborhoods. Though security bars are not aesthetically pleasing, they will help prevent thieves from entering your rental property. Be sure to add locks to all of the windows, regardless of their floor. Invest in high-quality locks and burglars won’t be able to open the rental property’s windows from the outside.
If you are hesitant to add security bars to your windows because they are somewhat unsightly, consider an addition of locks and window sensors. Window sensors trigger an alarm and/or send an alert to you through your smartphone when the security of your rental property has been compromised.
Install an intercom system / doorbell with a security camera
An intercom system is ideal for a multifamily rental property. It lets tenants control which individuals are permitted access to the building. Such a system will go a long way in preventing thieves from entering your rental property.
All properties benefit from a doorbell with a security camera. The camera activates when there is motion by the front door and sends a picture to the renter or owner’s smart phone. If a burglary does happen and the burglar entered through the front door there will be a recording of the perpetrator.
Enhance door security
Each rental property entry and exit door must be fully secured; at a minimum, doors should be locked with double-cylinder deadbolt locks. Consider adding extra locks for additional security. As an example, chain locks can be added to each tenant’s apartment. A chain lock empowers the tenant to slightly crack open the door but still enjoy protection. Furthermore, the addition of a peephole empowers tenants to see those outside of the door without having to expose themselves to danger by opening the door. Remind your tenants to lock the doors every single time they leave the premises.
The construction of the door also matters. Doors should be constructed with robust materials like solid wood or steel. Do not assume a door made of flimsy wood will suffice. A hollow wood door can be breached with a strong kick or shoulder lunge. Do not assume a door or a window with glass will withstand such a blow. Just about every type of glass aside from bulletproof glass can be broken, allowing easy access to your rental property.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.