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My tenants have been burgled. Do I have to improve security?

If your tenant has been burgled you’re bound to wonder if you have to improve the security at your rental property. Whilst there is no legal requirement for a landlord to install added security, there are several things to consider.

In the immediate aftermath of a burglary, a lot of people who haven't been in the situation attribute the victim's devastation to the financial loss they have suffered. But this is very rarely the case, the biggest loss is almost always the feelings of intrusion and a loss of privacy and security in their own home. Most people who have suffered a burglary will take some time to feel safe again and in this regard, any help that can be offered that might make your tenant feel more secure is always a worthwhile investment in keeping your tenant at ease within their home.

Whilst anything like a broken down door or a smashed in window is the landlords responsibility if caused by external criminal behaviour, you aren't responsible for new locks if these aren't damaged but if you have insurance on the home and any security equipment you deem suitable would also lower your insurance premium then it is most certainly a worthwhile investment.

Most burglar alarms are purchased immediately after a break in. However at this point it is all too late and the damage has already been done and burglar alarms aren't always necessary, depending on how the thief gained access to the property.

The first thing you’ll want to do is talk to the occupiers and try to understand what the nature of the break-in was so you can decide how best to proceed. You’ll probably have to secure the property and repair any damage to doors and windows.

It is also very important to determine if house keys were stolen in the process because if so new locks are a priority to stop easy repeat visits. If the police report suggests a "bump key" was used, a new style of locks should also be considered.

If you do want to add security to the property there are plenty of options and a full CCTV network with 24 hour response isn't always the best solution or even what the tenant would desire, solutions range from cameras, keypad systems and phone alerts with a live feed of the front door to simple things like a motion detector that loudly barks whenever someone enters or a second lock fitted beneath the original.

Whilst, none of this is a landlord's obligation but they are a worthwhile consideration if they would ease a tenants discomfort whilst they are renting from you.

Crucially, a tenant needs to feel safe within their own home. If you want to keep a tenant in your rental property after a burglary you may have to spend some money and time reassuring them.

If your tenants have been burgled and they’ve decided to move out, we can help you find new tenants fast. To find tenants simply list your property with MakeUrMove now.

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