Your Rental Property Being Burglarised Will Put Off Tenants
According to the ONS, there were 699,000 burglaries in the UK between April 2018 and March 2019. Most burglaries take place when there is no one at home – during the working day and when people are on holiday.
As a buy-to-let landlord, it is your responsibility as well as your tenants to ensure that your buy-to-let property is secure. Taking appropriate action will also help to maintain a good relationship with your tenant.
Summer is already here, and it is one of the hottest we’ve seen in the UK for a while. With the change in the weather, tenants spend more time outdoors and keeping it secure can require more maintenance. Simple things like remembering to lock windows after you’ve opened them can make all the difference in property security.
Burglars rob not only your tenants of their physical possessions but also their sense of security. Once a tenant doesn’t feel safe in their home, they are more likely to break their tenancy agreement and leave. Retaining tenants for the long term makes your job as a landlord much easier, so to ensure your buy-to-let property is kept safe, follow these tips.
5 Ways to Keep Your Buy-To-Let Property Safe from Break-Ins
- Install and Maintain Alarms
In the UK, there is no legal obligation for landlords to install burglar alarms. However, having them installed can make your property more desirable to prospective tenants.
Ensure alarms are tested and working properly. Audible systems are a great deterrent against burglars as often they will go for easy targets. Installing burglar alarms makes your buy-to-let property less likely to be targeted – when burglar alarms are set off they attract unwanted attention from neighbours.
- Keep windows and Doors Locked
Speak to your tenants about their responsibility for keeping the property safe. Windows and doors should have locks that are set whenever the tenant is not at home. In the summer your tenants will want to open windows and doors to cool down their home and let air in. Remind them of the security risk that this poses, and to check that all locks are secured before leaving the property.
- Add Peep Holes to Your Front Doors
Peepholes and door chains allow your tenants to see who is at their front door before they choose to open it. This type of security measure is particularly valuable for disabled or elderly tenants who could be considered vulnerable.
Letterbox shields can also help keep doors secure and prevent a thief from accessing the internal handle or fishing keys through the letterbox.
- Keep Outbuilding Secure
It’s not just the house that must be kept secure. Outbuildings and sheds are common targets for burglars. They are external to the house, so burglars have less chance of being caught. Sheds often contain valuable items such as bikes or power tools which are attractive to burglars.
Sheds can deteriorate as they become older, and it’s important that you maintain them well to ensure that the doors, windows and locks remain secure. Provide quality locks and padlocks for outbuildings and sheds to deter thieves, and, if there are valuable items in the outbuildings, make sure they are hidden away and not visible through windows or when the door is open.
- Keep in Touch with Your Tenants
Communication is a key element of keeping buy-to-let properties secure. Ask tenants to keep you updated about any security issues such as broken locks, jammed windows and faulty alarms. Also ask them to keep you informed of dates when they will be out of the property for a long period of time, such as for their summer holiday. This way, you know when you will need to check on the property.
Unfortunately, burglaries happen. As a buy-to-let landlord, it is your responsibility to help keep your property secure. Of course, tenants must also take some responsibility for keeping the property secure. Take the time to maintain all security systems and put deterrents in place wherever possible to make your house less attractive to burglars, and make sure you remind tenants of their responsibilities to help keep their home secure.
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