As a landlord, you probably worry about the security of your property a fair bit – and this may heighten over Christmas if your tenants are going to be away for a period of time.
Fear not. Even if you're not living in the property yourself, there are some things you can do – and ask your tenants to do – to deter potential burglars this festive season.
1. Keep valuables away from windows
Encourage your tenants to avoid keeping expensive items like laptops and speakers in plain sight. Burglars will be looking for the quickest and easiest way to get to belongings, so leaving them in front of the window will only encourage theft. Ask your tenants to close the blinds or curtains if they're going to be away for a few nights (or more).
2. Lock up
Sounds basic, but one of the best ways to prevent robberies is to keep the front door locked! Check the lock on your property – if it's feeling a little flimsy or has seen better days, get it changed. Having a latch mechanism can be useful as it means the door will automatically lock as tenants leave the property. It's also a good idea to have more than one lock on each door and install a door chain for extra security.
3. Check in
It's also worth checking the windows in the property. Do all windows lock? Are there curtains or blinds in every room? Some properties may have a window next to the door which could make it easy to break in by smashing the window and releasing the door handle. Do a thorough check on every possible way to enter the building, and try to improve security accordingly.
4. Invest in an alarm
If you're really worried, it's worth spending a small amount on a burglar alarm and fitting it in the property. Alarms, security lights and spy holes are small touches that could make all the difference to a burglar getting in successfully or not. Once you install a new alarm or light, don't forget to provide instructions or run through how to use it with your tenants.
5. Pretend someone's at home
As Home Alone taught us, burglars are most likely to attempt a break in at times when no ones around, making the holidays the ideal time to strike. Provide or encourage your tenants to invest in a light timer – they're cheap on Amazon and in homeware stores, and basically time lamps to come on and go off at certain times.
6. Be savvy on social media
A lot of burglars use social media to assess whether a house is empty or not – so it's worth encouraging your tenants to try not to post too many details of their location over the Christmas break, especially if it's only a couple of them living in the property. Facebook and Instagram check-ins can quickly tell someone your property is empty, and give them a chance to strike.
Be safe and have a Lovely Christmas & a Happy New Year!