As a property manager, one of your primary responsibilities is the safety of the residents who reside within your property. This responsibility covers a wide range of necessary actions from giving tenants a general feel of safety to implementing specific security and safety measures, to dealing directly with crime. Now hopefully most of you never have to deal directly with crime related to your property (or near it), but it’s an important to have a plan in place.
Before we dive into it, its important to understand that even if your property is in an area with very low crime, and even if you have excellent security measures in place, there is always a chance – and therefore you must be prepared.
One of the best things you can do as a property manager in preventing crime is to get involved with the Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program. This program in essence ties together rental property owners, the local law enforcement, and tenants in an effort of combined force to prevent/fight crime and generally just have a higher standard of living.
The benefits of this program are that the local law enforcement will train you (the owner and/or the manager) on preventing criminal activity from your rental properties. This includes some training on techniques for preventing new tenants from getting in under the radar (via screening and having appropriate leases made up). You will also learn to identify signs of criminal activity before they get out of hand.
Additionally, once you go through the training you can actually get your property certified as a Crime-Free Multi-Housing community. This provides a number of individual benefits. On the professional level, if you establish this program as a property manager, this will put you in an incredible light with your property owner. Imagine as an owner, knowing that your manager has taken the extra steps to certify the property as being safe – an incredible value add on your part.
On the same level, when you advertise to fill vacancies, it can only serve to help attract good quality tenants for people to know and understand that you have been certified as Crime-Free. Prospective tenants will be made aware upfront that your property is very safe to live in, and you are trained in a way that provides extra security for them (a way in which no extra cameras can provide).
Outside of these sorts of internal programs where you get trained and certified, you can also of course consider hiring private security. If you run a large apartment complex (or even just a large building in a busy area) you may find it prudent to have this extra layer of on-site security. I would still recommend the above in addition to having contracted private security as the training has the added benefit of protecting you and your employees on a personal level.
Check here for more on the Crime-Free Multi-Housing program.