With the recent clock change and the days becoming shorter, does your mind turn to the security of your property? Sadly, burglary rates can rise when the nights get longer as the darkness provides natural cover.
So, what can you do to make sure you protect your home?
For tenants, it can be measures like ensuring doors are locked and windows are closed, keeping valuables and keys out of sight and away from letterboxes, and using timers on lights or radio to make the property seem occupied.
Outside your property make sure that bikes are securely locked and inside a garage or shed, if possible and keep ladders and tools stored away. If you are going to be away ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your place and perhaps join a Neighbourhood Watch group for extra vigilance.
For landlords you may want to make sure that your rental property has sufficient outdoor lighting and look at extra if there are any vulnerable spots. Keep doors, windows and fences in good condition and ensure that side gates have working locks to prevent unwanted access to the rear of the property. Perhaps think about how any large hedges might be obscuring a view of your property and affecting anything that neighbours or passers-by may see and be able to act on.
Unfortunately, it is also important to be aware of who has responsibility in the event of a burglary and for the repair to any damage that is caused.
Tenancy agreements will show that landlords have a responsibility for providing a secure property in a good state of repair and usually it is the landlord who is liable to repair damage caused to the property through any crime. This includes any temporary measures needed to secure the property after a break-in, like boarding up broken windows or doors.
All responsible landlords will have buildings and contents insurance covering any damage that is caused inside or outside the property. This will include hallways in flats and other communal areas, such as shared gardens. The landlord’s contents identified in the tenancy agreement will also be covered by this.
All items owned by the tenant should be covered by their own insurance, as the landlord has no responsibility for any of the tenant’s belongings that are stolen or damaged. Be mindful that in the case of negligence on the part of the tenant, for example access was through an open window, both insurance companies may refuse to pay all or any part of the claims.
Everybody deserves to feel safe and secure in their home and at Pennington we can advise on any security-related measures for your property and make sure the measures are installed correctly through certified companies.
If you would like further information on this or have any questions at all on property issues, please do not hesitate to contact me as I am always happy to help.
Managing Director / ARLA Propertymark Advisory Board
Tel: 01394 337590