Among the many day-to-day issues an apartment manager has to deal with, there is one that can be pretty uncomfortable and even intimidating: property crime. With this type of crime, perpetrators target denser, contained communities of people as opposed to communities that are wider-spaced and less contained – such as suburbs and similar house-based communities. This is a big concern because property criminals can cost you a lot of money – not to mention endanger the safety of your residents.
As frightening as this sounds, there is good news: property crime in the country has fallen significantly over the last eleven years. More than ever, measures are being taken to safeguard rental communities from theft and crime, and some of these measures may be simpler than you think. If you are an apartment manager that is concerned for the well-being of your renters and staff, then here are a few apartment security tips to help you keep crime out of your complex.
- Make sure that your staff are easily identifiable. Property criminals have been known to pass themselves off as maintenance workers or property staff to trick tenants. To prevent this, make sure that your staff are always wearing uniforms and carrying photo ID when on duty. The more your team stands out to tenants, the harder it will be for criminals to impersonate them.
- Screen your tenants and your staff. An alert apartment manager should be conducting checks, not only on their residents, but also on the people they employ. This process can help you find out who could be a potential security risk – whether they work for you or rent from you. For tenants, doing this can function as an extra safeguard to help them feel safer under your watch. Not to mention, it could save you some headache down the road.
- Stay current on your security systems. No matter how comprehensive or up-to-date your security system is, it is not foolproof. Schedule regular checks of your monitoring devices, locks, lighting and other equipment to be sure that everything is tight and functional. It is also a good idea to look for any possible weak spots or workarounds that a potential thief can use to circumvent your security measures.
- Keep your eyes open. Know what to look for to spot suspects. Are there any strangers that seem to hang around just outside of your complex on a regular basis? Do you get unfamiliar people who come by, claiming to be friends of one of your tenants – but your residents are not familiar with them? These are signs that you may be getting sized up by property thieves. Be on the watch for anything suspicious or out of place. Just remember to always be courteous and non-forthcoming. You don’t want to make false assumptions that make the community seem unwelcoming.
- Inform your residents. Your tenants can be an effective crime deterrent if they are educated and alert about crime. Provide them with security tips such as keeping their doors locked and keeping valuables out of sight. Encourage them to watch for suspicious activity and to report it at first sight. Property criminals use infiltration as one of their most potent strategies – take this advantage away from them by keeping your tenants in the know.
As an apartment manager, you are in a key position to deter criminals and ensure the safety of your tenants. Following these tips can help you keep property crime where it belongs: away from your property.