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Tip #202:Crime Fighting

Landlords share responsibility for keeping tenants safe in their homes.

Here’s a quick overview of steps you can take to meet that responsibility:

Install peepholes, and preferably peephole covers in entrance doors.

Ground floor units can be the most vulnerable to crime. Make sure ground floor windows as well as sliding doors have beefy locks.

Encourage tenants to keep windows and doors locked when not in use.

Help tenants network with each other so everyone knows their neighbors. That way, they can look out for one another, feel more secure, and it will be more difficult for an outsider to blend in.

Re-key locks each time a tenant moves out. When using security passwords, change the code frequently.

Remove or cut back landscaping that blocks the view from parking to entry of units.

Carefully maintain outdoor lighting.

Keep sidewalks safe and clear so tenants aren’t forced to take a riskier route to their front doors.

Carefully screen employees or other workers who will have access to tenant information or units. Don’t leave unfamiliar contractors alone in tenants’ apartments.

Maintain contact with tenants — periodic emails, updating cellphone information. Let tenants know of any dangerous activity in the area that you become aware of.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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