Safety first: what are the security options for landlords?
Tenants have a fundamental right to feel safe in their rental home. Every landlord is responsible for making sure a tenant’s home environment is as safe and secure as it can be. Though there are no minimum-security standards to abide by, landlords have a duty of care to make sure their tenants feel safe and that the property – and its boundary – are secure.
So, what are the security options for landlords?
Changing the locks
A landlord should ideally change the locks between tenancies. This is not a legal requirement but is nonetheless a logical course of action. Not only can the landlord be sure that no former tenants will be able to access the property (you never really know how many keys remain in circulation) when the new tenants move it, but it will be a comfort to your new tenant/s to know that the locks have been changed. Locks are subject to wear and tear, so it makes sense to replace the locks at periodic intervals anyway.
Repairing doors and windows
As a landlord you are responsible for making sure all entry and exit doors and windows are secure and in good condition/state of repair. For example, a rotting window frame or sticking back door must be fixed quickly, as this compromises security.
What can be installed to enhance security?
- Window locks can be placed on windows with easy access from the outside, so ground floor windows especially.
- Sensor lights can be fitted at the front and rear of the property. These lights will make tenants feel more secure when returning home after dark, and act as a deterrent to anyone looking for a property to burgle.
- A burglar alarm can be installed if the landlord is happy to pay for the alarm and its installation. A burglar alarm can make the property more appealing to potential tenants.
- Install deadbolt locks on doors, while chain locks and peepholes can also be installed.
- Entrance and exit doors should have a solid core, making them harder to break into.
- Security cameras are not always necessary for rental properties but can be useful if you are renting out an HMO or a property where multiple tenants are coming and going.
Both landlords and tenants should have Contents Insurance in place to cover them should a break-in occur, and possessions and items are stolen.
Landlords are under no obligation to improve the security of the property during a tenancy simply because the tenant requests it. But landlords do have a duty of care. If a tenant does feel unsafe, despite all locks being in good working order and points of entry secured, it is between the landlord and tenant to come to an agreement about the property’s security.
If you’re looking to let your property to tenants and need advice on property security and help with letting your property, get in touch today.