As a property owner, you have a vested interest in ensuring the safety of your home. This rings true whether the home is your primary residence or an investment property. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide a safe rental residence for your tenants. Yet despite your efforts, the reality is that crime can make its way into any neighborhood, no matter how “safe” it is. At Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, the premiere Hamden property management firm, we believe that safety is a chief priority for any property owner. Keep in mind that neighborhood safety requires a team effort.That’s why we’ve detailed several preventative measures landlords can take to promote safety for their tenants and rental homes, as well as the surrounding neighborhood.
The following tips are not only great practices for keeping your rental and tenants safe, but also for fostering a safer community as a whole. If you and your tenants work together to implement these tips, it can really go a long way toward warding off criminal activity — making your rental property a more enjoyable place to live.
Tip #1: Establish a Safe Home Before You Have a Signed Lease
Before you have a new tenant sign on the dotted line of your lease agreement, our Hamden property management firm strongly advises landlords to take these common safety measures to ensure that the necessary safeguards have been taken into account:
- Change the locks on all doors leading to the exterior of the home. In most cities, this is required by law when tenants move into their new rental home.
- Provide adequate outside lighting. Walkways, garages, porches, and patios should have proper exterior lighting. Using motion sensored lights is highly recommended.
- Repair or replace any damaged windows, screens, stairways and paths promptly.
- Equip the rental with fire, smoke, and carbon dioxide detectors that contain fresh batteries. Test them to make sure that they are all in working order. In most states, this is also required by law.
- Clear rain gutters and drains to ensure they are properly functioning.
- Eliminate exposed electrical wires, and any tripping hazards, including items protruding from the ground.
- Cut back any overgrown shrubs and keep the landscaping trim around a home. It makes the outside of your home safer from lurking burglars and potential accidents.
- Provide a list of all local emergency agencies or neighborhood watch groups to tenants at the lease signing.
At Real Property Management, we recommend to all of our clients that they consider installing security systems that link to local police and fire departments. Although this isn’t required, it’s an investment we highly encourage. It can offer landlords an additional line of security between vacancies and is an added value for tenants. If this list seems overwhelming, you are not alone. You can trust that our Hamden property management team can help you tackle every aspect of protecting your investment property with confidence that comes from our over 25 years of experience. Remember, safety isn’t a place to cut corners!
Tip #2: Get to Know the Neighbors
According to the Pew Research Center, only 31% of residents sat they know all or most of their neighbors and only about half of Americans who know at least some of their neighbors talk briefly to them weekly. The residential social networking company Nextdoor conducted a similar survey to evaluate the present state of the American neighborhood. They found that the simple act of getting to know your neighbors inherently makes your community safer.
For Hamden property management firms like Real Property Management, emphasizing the importance of getting to know the neighbors to your tenants is paramount. As a landlord, you aren’t patrolling the neighborhood. In a way, you rely on your tenant to convey to you the condition of the neighborhood over time. If you and your tenants are able to recognize who lives in the neighborhood, it will be easier to identify when there is a suspicious person or activity in the area. This awareness will make the neighborhood a much safer community, and everyone will be able to better prevent crime.
Tip #3: Have Tenants Secure the Home When They’re Away
On average, 60% of people don’t take the necessary precautions to secure their property before leaving town. Although you can’t control how your tenants prepare your property before they go on vacation or are away for business, you can offer up these helpful suggestions to your tenants. You can ask your local Hamden property management team to include this list in the welcome packet tenants receive upon signing their lease. If you really want to go the extra mile, have this list made into a handy fridge magnet for tenants to keep as a reminder:
- Try to keep vacation dates off of social media―as tempting as it might be to share vacation whereabouts with friends online, criminals can access this info on public social media proﬁles like Facebook and Instagram to stalk and break into homes while residents are away.
- Lock all doors and windows before leaving—make sure to lock all doors when you are not home or home alone. If you have any sliding doors, place a rod or bar in the track to prevent intruders from forcing the door open and entering. Don’t forget to securely fastened all window locks as well.
- Close the blinds and curtains, especially when no one is home―this is especially important at night to prevent passersby from seeing the inside of your home, viewing your valuables or tracking your activity.
- Consider using automatic light timers―you can set when the lights go on and oﬀ to make it look as though someone is home.
- Keep neighbors informed― this goes back to Tip #2. Getting to know your neighbors and knowing who you can trust with keeping an eye on the house while tenants are away is a good idea especially if they plan on being away for more than a few days.
Of course, for landlords who partner with Real Property Management, you can rest easy knowing that there is always someone looking out for the safety of your property. We encourage tenants to be proactive about their safety and offer even more helpful tips to tenants as well as access to our customer support team online or over the phone.
Tip #4: Perform Routine Safety Inspections
For our Hamden property management team, providing routine maintenance services includes regular safety reviews. Tenants are made aware of these future safety reviews at the lease signing appointment. We arrange regular interior and exterior property evaluations to address any safety concerns tenants may have. For landlords, it’s also a great opportunity to ensure that tenants remain in compliance with the terms detailed in their lease agreement.
Having a clear and detailed plan for managing any safety concerns that arise on your property is one of the most important things you can do as a landlord toward protecting your investment. By working with a team of Hamden property management professionals, you can rest easy knowing that you have access to an experienced team of property managers working proactively for you.
How our Hamden Property Management Team Can Help You
Our team at Real Property Management knows that there’s more to building a safe rental than just just new locks on the door. With the practical and tangible safety measures detailed above, you and your tenants can work together to build, not only a safer rental, but a safer neighborhood. When tenants feel liked their safety and security is a priority to you, they are more likely to stay as long-term renters. That’s why Real Property Management of Southern CT is committed to helping you build positive tenant relationships. With over 25 years of experience, we continue to help our clients protect their most valuable financial investments. You can trust that you will have the support you need year-round when you work with our Hamden property management team. Call us today to learn more about how we can best serve you!