Speaking as someone who has worked in Bellevue property management for a reasonable number of years – slightly more than I’d care to admit – it has frequently come to my attention that many people take the security of their property for granted.
Tenants will generally check the locks on the doors when they move in, but occasionally problems can arise further into the tenancy. For example, you may have a front door that doesn’t lock well in the winter as the temperature change causes the door or the lock to swell. If your rental has a ground-level garage, you may find windows broken which may lead to break-ins. On some occasions, you may find that if you have one, the security alarm has not been tested for some months, and is no longer in working condition.
While these are areas of the property which should be inspected in-between tenants, landlords are often so rushed at the end of one tenancy, and the beginning of another, that things can slip through the cracks of an otherwise thorough inspection. You may have tenants who mean to inform the landlord of the problem, but find that this slips their mind also owing to a hectic lifestyle, and so we find ourselves with insecure properties.
To limit the possibility of break-ins and other security issues – for example, the structural integrity of decks, whether or not tenants have grills on their decks, broken windows or locks – and therefore damage to the unit, it’s important to schedule routine maintenance checks with the tenant. It’s also necessary to walk the property every once in a while just to make sure the grounds are being kept to your standards. You must notify tenants before entering, so having a boilerplate letter and regular maintenance checks will help keep your office coordinated, and ensure you’re acting within Landlord Tenant Law.
At SJA Property Management we understand how much work there is in managing a property, and how many small but potentially problematic issues can slip property manager’s minds. For more advice on how to successfully manage a property, contact one of our consultants today.