A burglary is one of the scariest events that can happen at a rental property. It “freaks out” the tenants and puts the investment at risk. Even worse, absent proper precautions, it can expose the landlord to potential liability claims. Good security can also be a major factor for tenants and/or buyers when choosing a property. There are a number of things that property managers and landlords can do to address and mitigate this risk.

First, it is important to look at the background facts. According to data gathered from the FBI:

  • One in every thirty-six homes in the United States are burglarized each year.
  • 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the United States alone out of which about 30 percent are through an open or unlocked window or door.
  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems. Houses that do not have security systems installed are up to 2.7 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar.

Hopefully these statistics will motivate you to take action. Below are 3 steps that you can take to secure your property.

Secure Doors:
Make sure all entry and exit doors from the property can be properly secured and locked at all times.

  • Door Construction. Use doors built from heavy-duty materials, such as steel or solid wood. Avoid flimsy wood doors or hollow doors that can be kicked or smashed in. Also avoid doors with windows or any type of glass that can be broken.
  • Deadbolt Locks. Use an extra lock, beyond the standard one. This lock should ideally be a double cylinder deadbolt. You can purchase a deadlock that doesn’t have a door handle, or you can buy one incorporated into the handset. Remember if, for any reason, you need to change keys it is cheaper to get the locks rekeyed, instead of changing them all together.
  • Chain Locks. In addition, install chain locks on the doors that lead to the tenants’ apartments. This way, the tenant will be able to crack the door open but still be protected.
  • Peepholes. The peephole will allow your tenant to see who is outside without having to open the door.
  • Intercom System. These systems are recommended if you own a multifamily property and you want the tenant to control who is allowed to enter the building and who is not.

Secure Windows:
Thieves can use windows as their entry point, so you have to secure them also.

  • Locks. All windows, no matter the floor, should be provided with mechanisms which prevent the windows from being opened from outside.
  • Security Bars. Adding security bars to your first-floor windows is also an option. It is true they don’t contribute to the curb appeal but they might be necessary.
  • Window sensors. Instead of security bars, you can use window sensors that sound an alarm and/or alert you via the smartphone when the security of your property has been breached.

“home security system that can detect home intrusions”

Install a Home Security Alarm System
It is a great idea to install a home security system that can detect home intrusions and alert the police. The signs outside the home also serve as a deterrent to would-be burglars.

With these security devices installed you will reduce drastically the risk of being burglarized and increase your peace of mind.