Prices for scrap metal have surged and the market demand remains strong. That has law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada warning rental property owners to keep tabs on copper and aluminum parts.
In one example, the FBI reported that a ring of thieves in Minneapolis targeted vacant rental properties and foreclosures. Before they were stopped, these crooks were earning a whopping $20,000 a month off unsuspecting property owners.
A “For Rent” sign on a vacant property can easily turn into an invitation for copper theft.
The prime target for copper thieves is rooftop air conditioning units made with copper coils. Gutters, flashing, wires and pipes are also valuable scrap.
Vacant homes and new construction are particularly attractive to thieves.
To avoid copper theft, consider:
Installing a video camera, lighting, or alarms around vulnerable properties.
Cutting down visual barriers like overgrown shrubbery around the property.
Gutters can be marked with fluorescent paint to assist in catching thieves.
Talk to your insurance agent or shop around to see if coverage is available. Damages can easily run into the thousands.
Check your air conditioning units periodically to see if you’ve been a victim. Report theft as soon as you discover it.
Do you have a quick tip to share with other landlords? Please email our editor at [email protected].
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