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Home security advice for landlords

landlord safety responsibilities

Security was recently revealed as one of tenants’ top three concerns, so it’s worth spending some time and a little money on ensuing they feel safe in your property. Many landlords don’t realise they have a level of responsibility to make sure a property offers security for tenants.

Locks

It is a legal requirement for a landlord to provide a secure lock to external entrances. For wooden front doors should be made of solid timber and fitted with a five-lever mortice deadlock that can be locked on either side. External uPVC doors should have a three-point multi-locking system.

Patio doors are a target for intruders so they too should have solid locks and be fitted with double-glazed casement windows.

All windows on the property should have lockable handles.

Other ways to make your property safer include fitting window locks to non-escape windows and installing door chains.

Lights

Motion-activated external security lights will help tenants feel safer when leaving or entering a property during hours of darkness, whilst also deterring would-be burglars.

Another good deterrent are timer switches inside the property, which can be used by tenants to set lights to come on even when they’re not home.

The garden

If your property has a garden, ensuring your tenants keep the bushes and hedges trimmed will mean one less place for burglars to hide, a clearer escape route in the event of a fire and less potential for a trip or fall due to overgrown shrubbery.

A clause about simple garden maintenance in your tenancy agreement should suffice.

Fire hazards

Landlords are required, by law, to install working smoke alarms in all rental property.

Any electrical appliances you provide; fridges, washing machines, ovens, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, etc, must undergo annual electrical safety testing by a qualified electrician and a certificate of proof provided to the tenant.

Gas safety checks must also be carried out every year, again by a registered gas safety engineer and a certificate issued. This includes your boiler and cooker or hob if they are run by gas.

You might consider asking tenants to carry out weekly or monthly checks of the smoke alarms in the property by including this in their tenancy agreement. Similarly, a ban on smoking and the use of candles in the property will also reduce the risk of fire.

Intruder alarm

An intruder alarm can help keep your property and your tenant safe. Devices that emit sound and light when motion is detected, as well as when a connection is lost, say on a door or window, are most effective.

Insurance cover

Landlord insurance is vital, and you must make sure you have valid cover in place before you rent out your property. Tailored landlord cover may include loss of rent, property owners’ liability, alternative accommodation and landlord home emergency cover.

For tenants, we strongly recommend they have appropriate contents insurance to cover their own belongings as well as accidental damage they may cause to their rental property, furniture or fixtures or fittings.

Tenant security packs

Tenant packs are a great way of providing your tenants with all the necessary information they need about the property. Include codes for alarms and emergency contact numbers. Instructions on where everything is kept and how to keep the property safe.

At Mistoria Estate Agents we issue all tenants with a Welcome Pack detailing everything from security measures to deposits, dos and don’t to inventories and inspections.

If you’re a landlord with Mistoria Estate Agents we can offer you a variety of highly professional and tailored property management solutions, including full property servicing and management, and tenant finding services. If you choose, we can ensure all aspects of home security are taken care of as part of our landlord management service. This means peace of mind for you that your property and your tenants are well looked after, and that you are compliant with all legal aspects of landlord safety responsibilities.

For more information on how Mistoria Estate Agents can help manage your investment property please call the team on 0800 500 3015 or email info@mistoria.co.uk.

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