Summer is upon us and it is this time of year that tenants will typically go away on holiday.
So how do you make sure your home is safe while they enjoy their break?
Remind them to lock up properly – it sounds obvious – but people do forget.
All window and lockable doors should be checked, as well as any shed or outbuildings. It is also a good idea for tenants to close internal doors to prevent the spread of flames should a fire break out.
Most burglaries take place when no one is home so make sure it looks as though the property is occupied. There are a number of simple steps tenants can take to make it look as though someone is in while they are away. Your property is also their home, so it is in everyone’s best interests to work together on this.
Ask tenants to:
- Set timers on internal lights and radios
- Ask a friend or neighbour to pick up post and free newspapers – particularly if you have a glass panel in your door
- Cancel newspaper deliveries
- Ask a neighbour to put out the bin on bin day – and bring it in again
- Check is a neighbour would like to leave a car on the drive
- Mow the lawn before they go away – as well as asking a neighbour to water any pot plants to prevent them from looking wilted and abandoned.
General crime prevention advice also applies.
Tenants are advised not to keep valuables on display and to keep blinds angled to prevent would be burglars looking into the property.
You, in turn, should ensure all locks are working and that tenants have keys to window locks and know they should use them.
You should also consider installing security lights and, if you have a burglar alarm, make sure your tenants know how to use it (and make sure you know the code)
Is your tenant away for longer than the standard fortnight in the sun?
If tenants are away on extended breaks it is important to let your insurance company know.
Most will want to know if the property is going to be empty and if you fail to inform them the policy may be invalidated and any claims made affected. Check your documents and contact your provider.
It is also a good idea to ask for tenants’ permission to check the property while they are away, to ensure all is safe and secure and that there are no maintenance issues, that could cause problems.
Finally, you should remind tenants to be careful what information they share on social media.
Every summer the newspapers are full of headlines about families who have posted holiday countdowns and snaps of cocktails on the beach only to find this has alerted criminals to their empty home.
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