Crime and vandalism can happen to any property, in any area. There are locations that are more susceptible to criminal activity, but every house needs to be protected accordingly. While there is only so much you can to do truly prevent it, there are some things you can do to deter a would-be thief. If you are dealing with a rental property, it is critical that you do everything possible to keep the unit safe and secure. If crime becomes an issue with your property, a lack of demand will surely follow. As a landlord and property owner, there are some things you can do before problems happen. Be proactive and take the appropriate steps to secure any property you have.
If you are buying a property owned by a lender, it may have been targeted for weeks, if not months. As soon as you take ownership, the first thing you should do is secure the property. This means changing the locks, secure entry ways and boarding up any broken windows. The sooner you can get on this, the higher the chances are that you can prevent a break in.
If you are doing any rehab work, you need to take the right steps to sure up your property. In addition to any tools on site, there may also be new appliances. You need to tell anyone doing any work to always lock and secure the property every time they come and go. Most property theft is done through unforced entry in back doors, basement windows and in the brief time a contractor may run out for just a minute. A large majority of real estate owned properties are on the market for months and targeted by thieves for a long time. Just because you secured the property right after you bought it does not mean you are out of the woods.
If you are dealing with a property that has existing or new tenants, you need to make them feel as secure as possible. One thing you can do is consider putting in a wireless security system. If you are renting in a college town, parents may want the security of knowing that their children are as safe as they can be. If a tenant really wants this and is willing to pay for it, you should jump at the opportunity. You can also consider installing this on your own.
Sometimes the mere threat of a security system on site is enough to deter theft. A security system may help catch the thief, but it won’t do much good in preventing it. In addition to a security system, you should place as many security stickers on doors, windows and driveways as you can get your hands on. If a thief is even slightly concerned about the threat of a police presence, they may opt to skip your house and move on to another one. It is important to make sure these are clearly visible at night and in the most well lit areas. It is also not a bad idea to have a beware of dog sign on a back or side door as well. The more things that you can do to deter a thief, the less likely the chances of a break in are.
Doing nothing is often the worst thing in many circumstances. If you wouldn’t feel safe in one of your rental properties, you can’t expect your tenants to either. Sometimes the best investment you can make is in a security system or other items that put your tenants at ease. You can spend money on an updated kitchen or bathroom, but if your property isn’t safe, these expenses are effectively useless.