Tenant security is always an issue in residential and commercial properties. So here are some security methods you can use to better protect your tenants as a concerned landlord.
Implement Advanced Security
As a property owner, you have no obligation to install advanced security beyond a lock and key. However, sometimes this isn’t enough. Home and apartment crime is a sad fact of life. And people get hurt by criminals gaining unauthorized entry. Fortunately, you can install advanced security. A better apartment building security system includes access control (fobs, key cards, etc.), CCTV, and intrusion alarms. Any of these will drastically reduce the ability of someone to gain entry and make a safer residential building for all tenants.
Better Protect Tenants with Background Checks
As a landlord, you have the right to know who your tenants are. Whether renting to a sole trader, LLC, or resident, the person named on the agreement can be checked. How you go about this varies from country to country. Still, typically you can request your tenant acquire a basic criminal background check. As a landlord, you usually cannot do this yourself. However, you should reimburse your tenant for the cost. A background check helps you determine whether a tenant is suitable. Some insurance companies also require disclosure of criminal records.
Install Video or Audio Intercoms
Your tenants have the right to know who is trying to access the building. One of the simplest yet most effective methods of ensuring this is with intercom devices. These are commonly installed in apartments. While they aren’t a legal requirement, they reduce the chances of a criminal act since a tenant can make an informed decision. However, audio intercoms provide only partial assistance. So, installing video intercoms is becoming more popular so tenants can also see who is at the door. For commercial and residential properties, Ring video doorbells are popular.
Ensure Proper Emergency Procedures
London’s Grenfell Tower incident highlighted how easily an isolated problem can quickly become a disaster. Unfortunately, the tragic fire was made worse by inadequate emergency procedures such as blocked exits and failed alarms. Here’s how you can avoid this happening:
- Install and regularly check fire alarms
- Regularly inspect fire extinguishers
- Ensure all emergency exits are free from obstructions
- Place clear instructions on what to do in any event around the building
- Enforce policies against tenants who endanger the lives of others
As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of all tenants, residential or commercial. Further checks could include PAT testing of electrical items, hazard suppression systems, and COVID-19 sanitization. The costs can be shared by your tenants or included in the rent.
Enforce Tenancy Agreements
A tenancy agreement is essential because it is the contract that binds your responsibilities with that of your tenants. Therefore, both are held responsible for upholding it or breaking it. Tenancy agreements typically cover rent. But you can also use a tenancy agreement to acknowledge a code of conduct on your property. For example, you can have a tenant sign that they won’t use a property for illegal purposes such as selling drugs. But you can also cover an agreement of non-harassment and antisocial behavior towards anyone else in the building at risk of eviction.
Better Protect Tenants with Private Security
Burglary is the most common type of residential crime, of which there are almost 1.5 million per year in the US alone. Theft may occur from inside the community in the apartment block. But unauthorized entry is also possible. You can reduce the chances of ether by hiring security personnel. Private security is expensive but can make a massive difference to the welfare of your tenants, both residential and commercial. A front desk is the most common first point of contact. But patrols by guards will help deter crime from within your premises.
Try to Work with Local Police
Crime is a fact of life. And nowhere is immune to it. You can go the extra mile and install excellent security and safety measures in your properties. But you can only go so far and have no powers beyond the right to evict tenants for breach of agreements. However, you can work with local police to establish behavior patterns and report systematic criminality. It’s not uncommon for organized crime groups to lease multiple properties in the same block of apartments to keep a close network. Therefore, you can report suspicious activity to the police.
As a landlord, you can do numerous things to better protect your tenants. For example, you can install advanced security systems, establish emergency procedures and work with local police.