Landlord News

A Landlord’s Guide to Home Security

Rose - August 2, 2016

Although landlords leave their property in the hands of their tenants for long periods, there are still measures that you can take to increase home security.

To help your tenants keep your property safe and secure, you can take simple steps to deter intruders. Sainsbury’s Bank has put together a useful guide to home security, which you could also give to tenants to protect the property while they are living there.

Do you know about the different types of burglar alarm? Do you use a BSI Kitemark-approved lock? Do your tenants know how to deter intruders while they are on holiday?

Through taking simple, small steps, you can ensure that your property is more secure. Follow these handy tips and sit back knowing that your property is as safe as it can be:

Check that locks are fully secure 

At the beginning of each tenancy, check the locks to ensure that they’re safe and secure. You may also decide that you need to install new or different locks to ensure that your property is safe.

  • Mortice locks – A mortice lock fits into the door itself. Five-lever mortice locks are recommended by Secured by Design, which is owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
  • Rim locks – These locks, sometimes known as Yale locks, are attached to the back of the door and lock automatically.
  • Multi-point locks – Multi-point locks are held closed by two or more hooks and bolds. They can be harder for burglars to manipulate.
  • Additional security bolts – These bolts make it difficult for doors to be forced open. They’re a popular choice for patio doors.

If your property has gates, a shed and a garage, you must also ensure that these have secure locks on them too, as they are prime targets for thieves.

A Landlord's Guide to Home Security

A Landlord’s Guide to Home Security

Install an alarm

Alarm systems are very effective at deterring burglars. There are many different models available, but the Metropolitan Police recommends a system that meets British Standard 4737/BS EN 50131.

  • Audible only – These alarms set off a loud and unpleasant alarm, which is designed to scare burglars and notify your neighbours.
  • Automatic dialling alarms – An automatic dialling alarm sets of a noise and makes an automated call to the police.
  • Remote signalling alarms – This type of alarm sets off an alarm and sends a message to a monitoring office, which then contacts the police.

Fit security lights 

Motion-sensor security lights can also be very effective. A bright light makes it easy to see when someone approaches your property and can make burglars reconsider their break-in attempt.

These lights are particularly useful in high-risk areas, such as:

  • Parts of the property that aren’t overlooked by neighbours or visible from the road.
  • Patio doors.
  • Flat roofs.
  • Back doors.

Ensure the property is insured

A good Landlord Insurance policy will protect your property from theft or attempted theft. This cover is included as standard in the Just Landlords policy, which has been rated 5-star by Defaqto. You should also advise tenants to insure their belongings against theft.

Keep keys out of sight

Remind your tenants to keep their keys out of sight, as keys or other valuables can be very tempting to burglars when left by a door or window. It is also advised that tenants do not hide spare keys in common spots, such as under a doormat, as these are the first places a burglar will look.

Take protective steps when going on holiday 

If you know that your tenants will be away on holiday, there are measures that both parties can take to look after the property while it is empty. If they are away for more than a few days, try to arrange the following:

  • If you live near the property or your tenants have a friendly neighbour, have a car parked on the drive at all times.
  • Ask your tenants to set up a timer for lights and the radio during the evenings.
  • Ask your tenants if you can make regular inspections while they are away to ensure the property is safe.
  • If it’s summer, go to the property to cut the grass or have your tenants ask a neighbour.

Empty homes are a prime target for burglars, but you can deter theft by taking preventative measures and asking your tenants to put certain actions in place.

Don’t risk your property suffering damage by theft with this helpful advice and visual guide from https://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/home-security