I have been a tenant myself and definitely considered safety and a secured environment as my top priority to select where to live. I bet everyone does. As a landlord the safety of your tenants and the security aspects of your properties should be your top priorities. Let me put in this way, would you let your children/loved ones stay in the property that you managed? If not, then you better re-structure your priority list. Security is not only important, but is essential. It is as important as the HVAC and plumbing, but is essential in the sense of “Act Now to Prevent” than “Regret when things happened”.
How can YOU make a difference in your managed property, especially if it is in a vulnerable area?
Operating a property is challenging, but providing a reasonably safe environment for your residents can also be rewarding.
Security and crime prevention does affect an asset’s performance if it is not given the appropriate analysis, and if the appropriate actions and steps are not taken. This will affect a property’s performance through marketing and resident retention.
Have you marketed your apartment as being a safe environment? What kind of interior and exterior lighting exists? Is the access control only on the exterior, or do you have it on the apartments as well? Do you have video cameras inside and out?
Here are ten tips for property managers to help improve the safety and security of their property:
- No Tolerance- Have a “No Tolerance” for criminal activity policy. Add this to the lease. Letting interested renters and current residents know that you won’t tolerate criminal activity on the property or particular criminal behaviors in the past will also show your commitment to a safer community.
- Community Selection Policy – Additionally, you may consider posting (very visibly) your “community selection policy” regarding acceptance of applicants. Of course, this posting would include exclusionary criteria related to previous criminal activities. Be careful and consistent in following your stated guidelines in order to adhere to local, state and federal laws.
- Install quality video security systems. Combine a video surveillance system with a quality maintenance plan to make sure the system is performing well. If it’s not working, what’s the point?
- No Loitering – Add it to the lease and post signs that say “No Loitering”. Nothing looks worse that having a bunch of people hanging out all over the street and alleys, especially to potential tenants. Request tenants to not sit on the porches or hang around the front of the building.
- Develop relationships – Encourage tenants to call at any time if they see someone on the property that does not belong there or someone breaking the rules.
- Install Good Lighting – Bright exterior lighting at night benefits the safety of everyone.
- Get to know the neighbors and the beat police – Attend community policing meetings from time to time. Get to know what is going on in your neighborhood, and what criminal activity is taking place.
- Be Proactive– Active/engaged site management goes a long way towards deterring crime. The properties with hands-on site managers always seem to have less crime than the properties managed by inattentive managers. Being proactive is key. Try to avoid reacting after the fact. The only way to make it work is through education and sharing information.
- Post Signs – “24 Hours Surveillance”, “No Loitering”, “No Trespassing”. Mount them high up but visible enough to be seen/noticed. Bad guys rip them off if they’re reachable.
- Take control – Don’t allow your tenants to sublet, or make duplicate keys. Know who is living on your property.
If the tips above are properly implemented, your tenants and residents will see the difference you have made for their safety. How many of the tips above have you already been doing? If you have any additional tips, please comment and share with us 855-697-6278.