When you're a first-time property manager, it's important to know your options when it comes to security. In order to keep both you and your rental property safe and secure, there are certain basic measures you can take.
Here are four ways to give both you and your residents peace of mind.
Empower Your Tenants
One of the most important factors in keeping your property secure is your tenants themselves—make sure to encourage them to use the security features of your units, including window locks and deadbolts. And make sure to do annual checks on the units to ensure all of these security features are still functional. Beyond that, to protect you from any liability, encourage your tenants to keep their most valuable outdoor items inside when they are away from their unit (i.e., bikes, grills, etc.), rather than out on an open patio.
Monitor Common Areas
One surefire way to help settle disputes among tenants or between you and potential thieves is to install cameras in common areas, such as parking lots or lobbies. This way, if a theft takes place, you can provide law enforcement with footage. This can also help tenants determine what or who caused a ding or scratch to their vehicle or assist you in finding out which tenant isn't picking up after their pet on the premises.
USE AUTOMATIC LIGHTING
A well-lit common area is one that is less likely to be vandalized or used for potentially criminal activity. Set up lighting throughout your parking lot that turns on automatically at dusk to protect your property from illegal use and to give your tenants peace of mind when walking to and from their buildings.
Acquaint Tenants with Your Staff
Whether you're a one-person operation or have a team member at your disposal, it's important that your tenants know what you and your crew look like. When you post notices in communal areas about air filter replacements or other instances where you and your staff will be stopping by units during a certain time of day, it can be easy for potential thieves to impersonate a team member and gain access to someone's apartment. Consider giving each new tenant a directory of your onsite staff members, including photos, and update it whenever you have new people come on board.