Belvoir's Advice to Landlords and Tenants - Step Up Security as Holiday Season Reaches Peak

Belvoir's Advice to Landlords and Tenants - Step Up Security as Holiday Season Reaches Peak

Belvoir's Advice to Landlords and Tenants - Step Up Security as Holiday Season Reaches Peak

The holiday season is in full swing with millions of Brits leaving home for a deserved break beside the sea or in the countryside.

Despite the promise of good weather and lazy days lies a potential threat that reaches peak proportions throughout August - house burglary.

Whilst the UK’s crime rate fell by an unexpected 15 per cent to an estimated 7.5m offences throughout 2013, burglaries were still being recorded at around the 34/35,000 mark each month at the beginning of 2014.

In around 20 per cent of all household burglaries, access is via an unsecured door or window so we always suggest that particular attention is paid to strong, secure door (and window) locks not just inside, but outside or leading up to the property.

In the lead up to mid-September, more than 7 million people will jet off to holiday destinations with many of them leaving property and homes empty for a week or two.

We often find that landlords and tenants place less importance on security than home owners. There is sometimes confusion over whose responsibility it is - but we always advise both parties to take precautionary steps to ensure security is of the highest level.

With 43 per cent of burglaries committed whilst property is unoccupied, Belvoir is urging both landlord and tenant clients to be vigilant by protecting their investment or the place they regard as home throughout this vulnerable period.

Offering specialist advice on most insurance and maintenance issues can help to protect the safety and wellbeing of our tenants and the secure maintenance of landlords’ properties.

Here's Belvoir's quick checklist of tips, to help keep a property safe and secure:

  1. Property stored outside in sheds and outbuildings (ladders/picks/shovels, etc.) can not only be stolen, but could also be used to break into the main property. Either secure them with a strong lock/bolt mechanism or take them inside the main property for the duration of your absence

  2. Do not advertise the fact that a property is unoccupied for a long period of time by leaving all curtains closed day and night

  3. Do not leave keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through windows, letter boxes or cat flaps

  4. Use security timer switches which turn on lights and radios automatically at regular intervals

  5. Do not ‘publicise’ your holiday plans on social media –Facebook/Twitter etc. – or leave answer machine messages indicating you are away

  6. Do not leave keys on view behind glass that can be smashed to retrieve them

  7. Never leave keys in ‘hiding’ places outside, such as under bricks, bins or on ledges etc

  8. If a burglar alarm is fitted to the property, check and set it before going away

  9. If you are a tenant, it may be advisable to let your landlord or lettings agent know the dates you plan to be away, and provide a contact number

  10. Cancel or postpone any expected deliveries and consider using Royal Mail’s ‘Keep Safe’ service

  11. Any other valuables, such as bicycles, lawnmowers, etc., should also be very tightly secured or, again, locked up inside the property

  12. If planning to leave a vehicle in front of a house unmoved, for a long period of time, consider making arrangements for someone you know and trust to carry out regular checks and ’turn over’ the engine in case it is being targeted by thieves

  13. Move any valuables out of sight of windows

  14. If possible, mark all valuables with ultra violet pens, Smartwater or other forensic marking devices so that, should the worse happen, your property can be easily identified by the Police

  15. Finally, ensure all insurance policies are current and ‘fit for purpose’ in terms of range and levels of cover.

No-one likes to imaginen the possibility that their property could be broken into and often ransacked during a burglary – but it’s an issue that both landlords and tenants should definitely consider when attempting to safeguard both buildings and belongings.

The general rule is to take as many common-sense precautions as possible to assess risk and implement measures to minimise threats whilst you are away enjoying yourself.

There are a wide range of insurance options and products which cover landlord and tenant obligations in the event of burglary to a rented property, and we can point clients in the right direction if they need specific advice.

But the general rule is to take as many common-sense precautions as possible to assess risk and implement measures to minimise threats whilst you are away enjoying yourself.

 

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