As a landlord, you expect your tenants to pay their rent, and they expect you to provide safe housing. These safe conditions include not just security against the threat of a break-in, but also structural integrity and home maintenance. Although certain safety features are required by law, showing your tenants that their safety is a priority helps build a good rapport with your renters. Here are our tips for ensuring your tenants are safe and secure in your property.
External lighting is an effective way to deter potential criminals from breaking in. Motion-sensor lights can be installed at the front and rear, and porch lights are also a good idea. Ample interior lighting is just as important. Having functional lights inside the house helps illuminate places where an intruder may hide. And it allows tenants to see where they’re walking to avoid potential falls or injuries (and solicitor’s fees).
Make sure all doors, including main doors and screen doors, are fitted with locks. Deadbolts on main doors are recommended as an added precaution in the event of a break in. Furthermore, solid doors made of wood or steel are advisable, as hollow doors or doors with glass are easily breakable. Other features such as chain locks, peepholes and intercom systems are additional ways to increase safety and security around home entrances.
No matter whether it’s a multi-story structure or a ground-level home, criminals are experts at finding a way inside. For this reason, it is important that all windows have working locks as well as external security screens. The outdated mesh fly-screen is easy to rip or remove and you should replace it with newer, more secure screens.
Installing a security system may seem superfluous, but it is a highly effective way of deterring criminal activity. There are many new DIY security devices, which are easy to install and are remotely accessible. As with everything on the premises, you should check alarm systems regularly for any maintenance issues.
Remove obstructions from entrances
Trees and bushy gardens are great for privacy, but not so great for safety. You don’t want criminals lurking around the yard looking for places to hide, and especially not near entrances that are obscured from view. Consider removing any large shrubs or unnecessary structures around the doorway that may put your tenant’s safety at risk.
A fully functional smoke alarm is one of the most important home safety features to install. This is not just a good idea; it is a legal requirement in every rental home, and preferably in every room of the home. Smoke alarm compliance and maintenance services are easy to find – for just $99/year, representatives will come to your home twice a year to test, clean and if necessary replace your smoke alarms for you. Our provider of choice is Smoke Alarm Solutions. What many people fail to understand is that these companies also supply you with a Certificate of Compliance. This certificate means that the smoke alarm compliance company becomes responsible for the risk, protecting both you and the tenant from liability.
Structural and appliance maintenance
Protection against crime is not the only concern for tenant’s safety; home maintenance is equally as important. Regular routine safety checks should be conducted on all internal and external structures, and any repairs addressed promptly. You should examine ceilings, roofs, walls, floors, stairs, verandahs, and landscapes for damage and structural integrity. Appliances such as ovens, fans, dryers, and heaters should also be checked and maintained. Power outlets and light fittings are also potentially hazardous if not kept in correctly functioning condition.
You should also keep records of all safety inspections carried out, including notes, dates and pictures. Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their home environment, and as a landlord, some of this responsibility is on you to uphold.