Basic Security Steps For Your Property
As a landlord, nothing could be more important than protecting your investment and that means enhancing the security and longevity of your property. This may seem quite easy for experienced landlords but can be overwhelming for beginners. Fortunately, there are various simple steps you can take to slowly seal up the vulnerabilities that make your property less secure. It does not have to be a costly investment. Here are 5 basic security steps for your property to keep you ahead of things:
1. Right down your lease and list of contents
Leases are not only drafted when you are considering a lease but should be something you have already done such that it only requires an update. Before allowing tenants in, you should probably take a picture of your property and write down all the items and fixtures found therein. These may then be listed as part of your lease. Should anything go missing or get deliberately damaged while the property is occupied, the tenants steps in to take liability. After drafting a lease, get your tenants to sign them before you accept rent deposits. They should pay rent for one month and another extra (one month) fee as advance deposit which is returned when the tenant is moving out once you confirm that everything is in place.
2. Register the residential property with legally approved tenancy board
Residential tenancy board offers about one month to get your rented property registered with them otherwise you stand being sued, fined and even spending time in prison. The property may also be put out of use for a specified amount of time before you are allowed to rent anyone else. It is therefore important to comply with active enforced tenancy regulations and avoid encounters with the legal authorities. This way, you will protect your property from bad reputation and also give your tenants a piece of mind.
3. Conduct a background check and interview all tenants before allowing them in
Of all the 5 basic security steps for you property, this is the easiest to understand, yet very important. Never allow strangers into your property without proper evaluation of their character, ability to pay, criminal history, social and psychological patterns among traits that are worth investigating. This is the first task after you get a request for tenancy. It gives you the chance to filter out bad traits and characteristics early enough. However, watch out for prejudice according to race, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, age, disability, religious beliefs among such discriminations as that would get you sued, fined and imprisoned.
4. Provide tenants with a rent book
Rent books basically contain information about the tenancy, rules, observations, rent rates and record of rents paid and a statement of everyone’s rights and responsibilities. It is a legal requirement that all landlords provide each tenant with a copy of the rent book otherwise they risk large sums in compliance fines and possible jail term. It is also important to have security of tenure that starts from 6 months to 4 years. This means you are free to alter or terminate any lease that has lasted less than 6 months (after this time you cannot change the lease until 4 years have elapsed).
5. Consider registering into a larger network of landlords with their own attorneys
When you become a landlord, you immediately need to catch up with all the rules and legal compliances and avoid being on the bad side of legal authorities. It also immediately places you in the targeted spot where you might just catch a case soon. Issues come up from time to time involving tenants, complaints, break-ins, accidents and many distractions. It is important to be part of a larger group that can protect your interests. Joining a network of other landlords with their own corporate lawyers of group of attorneys is always a good step towards protecting your investments. If this is not possible, find a real estate attorney to handle the legal paperwork.
There are many ways to beef up security of your property while protecting the interest of your tenants as well as yours. It is important to take time learning how the whole landlord tenant relationship works, regulations in place and how you can protect your investments. What’s more, ensure the property is maintained din good condition to avoid security compromises.