Everyone wants to feel safe, especially in their home. You can have the most beautiful wood floors, high-end marble counter-tops, and free cable/internet but none of that will matter if the area doesn’t feel safe.
A safe community is a desirable community. And a desirable community does not have vacancies for very long. When your tenants feel safe, they’ll stay longer, renewing their leases for years. They’ll also invite friends and family over to their home. If those friends and family are ever looking for a place to rent or a property management company, they’ll already have built trust with you.
If you want to make your neighborhood feel safer there are few things you can do.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Lease
Many criminals would rather be arrested than risk being evicted. Threatening to call a landlord, housing supervisor, or homeowner is often more effective than threatening to call the police on a neighbor that’s engaging in suspicious activities.
Conduct regular inspections.
Regularly inspect the properties to look for lease infractions or signs if suspicious activities. Clearly define the number of days visitors are allowed to stay before they need to be added to the lease. If this is violated, don’t be afraid to take steps. Condition tenants early on follow the terms of their lease by using infraction notices to document incidents or build a case.
Keep it clean!
Keep your neighborhood clean and you’ll be sending a message to anyone passing through that the residents care about the place they live. Clean up graffiti if it appears, mow a vacant lot, straighten crooked signs, and pick up loose trash.
Know your neighbors.
Talk to the people that live around your property. Getting to know your neighbors will also help them get to know you and people are more likely to help look out for your property if they know you. This will also give you a good idea of the people that belong in your neighborhood making it easier to identify possible troublemakers.
Also, get to know the other landlords in the area. If you’re experiencing problems then they probably are as well. Together you can implement solutions that will benefit you both.
Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood.
Walk around the neighborhood frequently, even if you don’t live there. Learn the normal happenings so you can tell when something is off. This way when your tenants call about seeing a kid in the yard you’ll know if they live there, which parent to call, or if the kid might need some help.
Keep an eye on the crimes in your neighborhood as well!
Organize the community.
Don’t take any personal risks to prevent a crime, and don’t encourage your tenants or neighbors to do so either. But, if you can, organize the community to begin looking out for each other. Exercise dogs in shifts so that there’s someone out walking at regular intervals. When the weather is nice, encourage positive loitering.
Dim lighting provides the perfect cover for criminals to operate. If there has been a rash of thefts or break-ins in an area, it’s probably not well lit. Add external spotlights around your property. If energy consumption is a concern, have them connected to a motion detector. If you already have lights but are still experiencing problems consider purchasing brighter bulbs. Criminals don’t want to be seen committing their crimes.
We hope this helps you keep your neighborhood safe so that your tenants feel comfortable. If there’s anything else that we can do to help you increase your bottom line, please contact us!