You may think you have everything in place that you need to provide a safe and habitable St. Louis rental property. When we think about safety, however, we need to consider more than functional smoke detectors and sturdy handrails. We also have to think about crime.
Rental homes can be targeted by thieves and vandals, especially when they’re vacant or your tenant is away from home.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent crime at your rental home, protecting your tenants and your asset.
Evaluate the Appearance of Your St. Louis Rental Property
Criminals are more likely to target homes that are dark and empty than those that are well-lit and give the appearance that someone is always home. Make sure there’s plenty of lighting. Motion lights outside of the property can be an excellent crime deterrent, and there should always be a light that leads from the street or parking area directly to the front door. You don’t want your tenants walking through darkness when they’re getting home at night.
You’ll also want to keep trees and bushes trimmed back from windows and doors. Don’t give someone an opportunity to hide while approaching the house.
Keeping your rental property well-maintained and always appearing to have someone home is a good first step in preventing criminal activity.
Consider Security Upgrades at the Property
Smart home technology has become more popular than ever, and it’s not just because of ease and convenience. It also keeps properties more secure. Alarm systems have become more sophisticated and video doorbells are extremely popular. They give tenants the opportunity to see who is outside the property before opening the door. These real-time videos can be saved in case there is a break-in and they can also be accessed when the resident is away from home.
Involve the Neighborhood and Educate Tenants
Many communities have a Neighborhood Watch program or something similar. As a property owner, you can become involved in these groups and let neighbors know when your rental home will be vacant so others in the area can keep a close eye on it.
Educate your tenants as well. Before they move in, share an emergency plan that can be used if something occurs at the home, such as a theft or a threat to their physical safety. Make sure they know where the nearest police station, fire department, and hospitals are.
Conduct Routine Safety Inspections
When the property is occupied, you don’t want to be a nuisance to your tenants. But, you do want to check for safety issues from time to time and make sure the property is secure. An inspection once during the tenancy is reasonable, and it will provide a chance for you to check the lights and look for potential issues.
We also recommend driving through the neighborhood once in a while. This will keep you in touch with the neighborhood itself and let you know if there are any safety issues that may need to be addressed. Follow crime reports and statistics for your area. You want to know when there’s an increase in break-ins or thefts in the neighborhood. Pass this information onto the tenants without alarming them. Explain the importance of being vigilant and proactive when it comes to preventing criminal behavior.
If you need some help making your St. Louis rental property as crime-proof as possible, please contact us at Amoso Properties.