Here at Lofty, we understand that life can sometimes be tough for a landlord or property manager. You have to deal with a lot of issues that many people simply do not want to deal with. However, promoting a safe and secure living environment in your buildings does not have to be complicated. Here are some basic safety and security measures you can take to improve the safety of the home, units or complex for your tenants.
#7. Secure Entry
Door locks can vary widely in number and type from building to building. It might depend on the preference of the landlord and tenant. It may be important to discuss this together to come to some sort of agreement. The locks can be old fashioned and this may make the tenant feel less safe. Modern locks make the home more current and sometimes safer.
Lost keys do not have to be a scary situation. Partnering with a local, trusted locksmith will prove to be invaluable. They can offer fast, reliable services based on the needs of your properties. In the event of specialized key systems, additional deposits and fees included upfront will ensure you are not financially liable in the event of an accident or negligence.
#6. Secure Units
Though it may seem like common knowledge, urge tenants to lock their doors at night and when they are not home. Even if the building seems safe, they still need to lock their doors if they want to prevent an unwanted intruder. Regardless of the time the tenant has spent in the property, a locked door is a safe door.
Some tenants may be moving in with valuable belongings. As such, they may only be interested in buildings with security systems monitored by an off-site service. If a tenant is already occupying your space, and expresses an interest in having a home security system installed, consider footing the bill for installation in all units, as this can be an investment that may make your vacant units more marketable in the future.
#5. Safe Passage
Did you know that there are sometimes financial benefits to making your multi-unit property safer? Consult with you insurance adjuster to discover all the ways you may save money on your policy. Consider installing locks on exterior gates or fences around the property. Additionally, exterior lighting, especially in secluded, dark areas, can be a huge safety plus for your tenants. Proximity or motion sensors and a timer will ensure these lights are not wasting energy while contributing to the overall safety and security at your property.
Let’s face it: this is Chicago and the weather is always going to cause a problem for someone, somewhere in the city. If it rains and tenants are coming home at night, you might want to have no slip strips to prevent falling. The exterior lights can help here, too. Even inside the building, it helps to secure the stairs. If it is carpeting make sure it is secured with tackless strip, just as a professional would install it. This may help prevent accidents for which you could be liable.
#4. Private Eyes
Installing security cameras is another option for safety and security. From large apartment buildings where people might not know who is in and out of their building, to multi-unit walkups occupied by familiar faces, a prominently displayed security camera can be an effective deterrent for criminal activity. While some states have a one party consent rule for recording, Chicago is in Illinois, a two party consent state. That means you must obtain written consent from your tenants, and keep a record of it, before installing the recording equipment. If a security camera system is not in the budget, a decoy camera (that looks real but does not actually record) can also be a deterrent—at a fraction of the cost and without requiring the consent of your tenants.
#3. Fire Prevention
Fire safety is not a thing to be taken lightly in your properties. Placing a fire extinguisher in a glass case in common areas or hallways can not only raise the property value and aesthetic appeal of your building, it also makes it safer. Additionally, consider fire extinguisher storage in individual units as well.
Providing basic fire safety tips for tenants can also go a long way. Check out our complete review of fire safety tips.
#2. Communicate Together
It is important to maintain the professional relationship between landlord and tenant but also remain friendly and light whenever possible. Consistent behavior like this can help foster a trusting relationship that does not cause stress. Sometimes people’s livelihood, families, or pets are concerned. Landlords should be respectful of their tenant’s wishes and tenants should respect their landlord’s boundaries.
#1. Special Care
If the tenant is elderly, has a health problem, or has a pet, they may need special accommodations. The landlord may need to check on them sometimes even if it’s a friendly email or phone call.
When you have successfully curated a safer and more secure environment, share your safety tips with your tenants. Just knowing you took the time to put together safety tips on their behalf could help them feel comforted and secure in their new space. Also provide a safety tip overview before new tenants move in, along with their welcome package.
Here at Lofty, it is our hope that these measures help make everyone feel comforted and secure in your properties. The home should be a comforting place, a place one comes to at the end of their day to feel safe and secure.
However, we know that property management is not for everyone. In fact, we embrace that fact and are eager to help take the headaches of owning a property off of your plate if you find it is not for you. Talk to us today and find out how we can help you live the life you deserve.
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