How To Reduce Rental Property Crime

As a property owner, you want to protect your real estate investments and your tenants. Reduce theft, vandalism, and other property crimes with these tips.

Prepare Your Tenants

First, make sure that your rental is occupied by tenants who have been thoroughly screened through a tenant check. A criminal background check is highly recommended for all landlords. Let your tenants know that you’ll be stopping by to check on the property, and then do it.

Tell your tenants to notify you of any suspicious activity or if there is an increase in crime in the neighborhood. If there’s been a string of burglaries near your property, you’ll want to know about it. Remind them not to leave anything valuable in their cars and to keep doors and windows locked.

Add a Security System

Dogs, alarms, and cameras are all deterrents to crime. If you don’t want to spend money on a whole system, or if you don’t allow pets at your rental, then fake it. You can still purchase signs that warn readers that they are on camera, the house has an alarm system installed, or there is a dog on the premises. Even the suggestion of a security presence is enough to thwart opportunistic crimes.

Locked gates and fences are also a great way to keep people out, but be thoughtful about it. While you may think that a 6-foot tall barricade is the best choice, there are some drawbacks. A tall fence can prevent the occupants or neighbors from seeing any suspicious activity that is happening on the other side of the fence.

Increase Visibility

Eliminate shadows and blind spots with strategic lighting. Motion sensor lights are a great way to illuminate the exterior of a home. Also, consider adding lights along outside pathways so that your tenants feel safer when they’re coming home in the dark. Your tenants could set interior lights on timers while they are away for extended periods of time so that the house does not appear empty. Keep lights bright enough to see, but not so bright that there are glares or shadows.

Landscape Strategically

Your yard can contribute to the safety of your rental, so use it wisely. Don’t block windows or doors with shrubbery. You’ll want to keep these vantage points clear. A short, thorny bush placed underneath a window makes it more difficult for someone to break in from the outside. A prickly, creeping vine along a fence could also minimize the likelihood that someone will want to climb over.

Maintain the Property

Believe it or not, your routine maintenance is also a crime deterrent. A well-maintained property shows ownership and lets potential criminals know that someone cares about the property.

Follow these tips and you’ll be adding another layer of protection for your renters and your property.

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