It’s easy as a landlord to worry about the safety and security of your rental property throughout the year. You may ask yourself, ‘Are my tenants taking care of the property properly? Has there been rising crime in the area? Should I install safety alarms?’
Unfortunately, these concerns can naturally be heightened over the festive Christmas season – as your tenants are likely to be away on extended breaks across the country to see family and friends, combined with local ‘opportunists’ in the area, looking to take advantage of vacant properties and their contents.
We have compiled a small list of 3 things you should consider for the safety of your rental property over the Christmas period.
a. Communicate with your tenants and neighbours
Most contractual agreements with tenants include a clause stating that the tenant must communicate any periods where the property may be empty for an extended period of time, often over 14 days. This may be when a tenant goes on holiday or is away for festive breaks.
As a landlord, it is important that you check in with your tenants before the holiday season, so you are aware of any periods where your property may be more vulnerable. It may be a good idea to seek approval from your tenants to visit the property yourself during this time too.
It is also wise to build up a good relationship with the neighbouring properties. They can help keep an eye out, for unusual activities, other break-ins or sightings in the area.
b. Minimise the risk of intruders
Sadly at this time of year, intruders are on the lookout properties to target. There are some simple things that tenants can do to minimise risk of break in. Firstly, remove all valuables from sight including laptops, watches, jewelry etc and place these into a safe, locked place before leaving the property. The tenants should also ensure they have a good contents insurance plan in place, covering the value of anything that could potentially be stolen.
It’s also a good idea to ask tenants to avoid drawing the curtains as this simply draws attention to the property, especially if the curtains remain closed during the day too. Instead, as a landlord, you could provide slatted blinds, and lamps which are on timers, giving the impression of movement and life within the property.
Lastly, it may be a good idea to invest in outdoor security lights, especially around the back of the property where it is easier for intruders to enter without being seen or heard by neighbours.
c. Make sure all maintenance needs have been taken care of
It’s the simple things that may really help with safety and security over the festive period. Making sure the property has solid windows, doors, and locks is a great place to start. Also check things like fencing, security gates and alarms are in good working order. If not, consider changing these as soon as possible, as these small things may save you lots of money, time and stress in the future.
We know how stressful managing a rental property, or several, can be! At City Relay, we offer a full range of end-to-end services for both long let landlords and short let airbnb hosts. We can organise all your maintenance needs and communicate with your tenants to ensure your property remains safe and secure at all times. We can also organise check-ins at the property, for extra peace of mind over the festive season. Contact us today for more information!