Ways to Limit Responsibility for Crimes Committed by Strangers on Rental Property

There are roughly 2.5 million burglaries a year with 66% of those crimes being home break-ins. Giving the high rate of burglaries in the United States, owning any residential property means that you have to think about ways to protect it against crimes and burglaries. However, when your a property manager or landlord there is an added layer of risk because there are steps you can take to protect and secure your rental property and even if you do those things there may be things your tenants may do to put it at a higher risk. Therefore it is ideal to take the following steps recommended by NOLO not only to reduce the possibility that crime will occur on your property but also limit liability if crime does occur.

Make sure the rental property meets or exceeds state or local rental property security laws and guidelines. These standards could include having good outside lighting, window locks and deadbolts on the doors.

Assess the crime in the area of the property and create a security system that is specific to the area. Local resources like police and insurance companies can give recommendations on what security measures to take based on available local crime data.

  • Make sure tenants know the local crime issues and statistics and describe to them what measures have been taken, how they are used and what might be their limitations

  • Regularly inspect the property for security problems or issues. This can include broken locks, burnt out outside lights and exterior doors that are left open by tenants or workers.

  • Ask tenants for any suggestions or observations that relate to security

  • Make sure to handle all tenant security complaints, suspicious activities or broken locks quickly.

Additional security measures that can be taken to protect a rental property could include installing cameras in public places and making it clear to tenants, workers and anyone that enters the property security is taken seriously. These types of measures may be expensive, but they can prevent terrible crimes like rape and murder from happening on a property and make the property more desirable especially to individuals with families they want to make sure to protect. In addition, documenting the security measures you have taken in your property management system can also help protect you if a crime does occur and your property and you are sued by those impacted by the crime.  

This post is provided by RISSOFT Residential and Commercial Property Management Software, specializing in innovative and cutting-edge management software for all 50 states. Request a demo or contact us today to receive more information.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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