As a landlord you have certain responsibilities to maintain and ensure that your property is safe for your tenants. This means up to scratch locks, regular safety checks and general maintenance. As security experts, we have put together our top tips for landlords to ensure that your property is safe!
1. Ensure your door locks are up to the task
The first step in securing your rental property is to ensure that you have the right locks. With many different types and models on the market it can be hard to determine which locks are the best. We always recommend a lock that is up to British Standard as these locks are tested against common forced entry techniques making them more resistant to forced entry. Do bear in mind that no lock can 100% guarantee complete resistance to forced entry but higher security models can offer more endurance.
A forced entry technique that is common in burglaries across the UK is cylinder snapping. This technique involves snapping poor quality euro cylinder locks to gain access to the internal mechanism which will then allow the intruder access, to prevent this look for a model which is anti-snap. An anti-snap cylinder has a break line built in so that should the external casing be purposefully snapped it will break in a specific place that will still protect the internal mechanism, denying access to the intruder.
2. Secure your window locks
Ground floor and accessible windows can be vulnerable so they should always be closely looked at in terms of security. Ensure that you give the same level of attention to your windows as you do to your doors in order to help secure them against potential intruders. There are a variety of different window locks and models that will have different security features that can suit your individual needs.
3. Don’t forget about garages, sheds and outbuildings
Any extra space to a property is always appealing, whether it’s more space for your tenants or private space for your own personal storage. You will want to make sure that the same care and attention is given to securing these extra spaces as they can often be a target for intruders. Sheds and garages are hotspots for break-ins as people tend to leave expensive tools in them unsecured. Whether you have valuables stored in these extra spaces or not, you should ensure that they are properly secured as to make them less vulnerable to attack.
4. Make an informed decision about when changing the locks
Whenever you start a new tenancy it is always strongly recommended that you change the locks. This is because no matter how trustworthy a previous tenant might be, you will never know if any keys were made and lost or who might have an extra key. For peace of mind you should always change the locks at the end of a tenancy to secure your property.
Should you wish to change any locks at any point during a tenancy, you must give your tenant adequate notice of the lock changes. You must ensure that they have a copy of the new key before the locks are changed or when it is convenient for them, so not to leave them without access to the property which would be a break of contract.
5. Know your property
It is always helpful to understand what will secure your type of doors and windows. Understanding the most common locking systems for your property access point can help should there be an issue and a Locksmith needs to be called in. Knowing all of the aspects of your property better will allow you to know the proper maintenance needed to care for it and keep it in the best condition.
6. Assign an emergency Locksmith
Not everyone can be available 24/7, so it’s important to have an emergency Locksmith on hold should your tenant need security assistance. If a door, lock or window should break and a tenant cannot get in touch with a landlord, having a second number to call will allow them peace of mind but also makes the process easier for the landlord. By setting a preferred Locksmith, you can be assured that any emergency work carried out will be to a high standard and you can have an idea of what the cost will be should they be called out.