Home IntruderHo, ho… oh no

Many tenants will be heading off on holidays over the coming weeks so it’s useful to pass on these tips to help keep the property secure.

That noise your tenants hear outside may not be Santa and his reindeer…but a criminal looking to relieve them of their spoils, as the festive season is prime time for home burglaries. With the heat of summer inviting tenants to leave windows and doors open, coupled with the likelihood that presents beckon – temptation and opportunity can create rich pickings for thieves.

Remember, most theft is opportunistic and the criminals look for easy targets. These tips may help reduce your tenant’s risk of becoming a victim of crime and also leaving your property susceptible to theft and damage (they don’t call it ‘break and enter’ for nothing).

Home:

  • don’t leave windows and doors open; keep security doors locked at all times; secure sliding doors
  • don’t advertise your new goods by putting the boxes in the recycling without tearing them up first and placing in the bottom of the bin
  • don’t display presents near windows/doors
  • remove tools, ladders and gardening equipment from yards
  • ensure decorations don’t obstruct or trigger the security systems
  • tenants should also make sure they carry their own contents insurance

Away:

  • always inform the landlord/PM that you are going away and provide contact details; also let them know if you plan on having a friend/family member stay at the property while you are away (be mindful of your obligations when it comes to possession and security of the keys)
  • stop deliveries (papers, post)
  • set timers for lights and audible appliances (radio/TV) but don’t leave them on all the time as it’s a sure-fire hint to a burglar that no-one is home; turn the volume on your home phone down so it can’t be heard from outside; forward calls to your mobile
  • lock up really well and don’t forget to turn on the alarm (get the landlord/PM to notify the security company you’re going away)
  • never leave spare keys ‘hidden’ outside
  • don’t announce holiday plans/updates on social media

No-one wants to spend time filing police reports and insurance claims and arranging emergency repairs when they could be having another fruit mince pie or sipping a cocktail by the pool. Passing on these tips to tenants could help reduce the chance of having to deal with a theft at the investment property and you can enjoy a merry little Christmas instead.