A home security guide for renters and landlords

Posted 12th August 2021 by SimpliSafe.

Guide for renters and landlords

Whether you’re a tenant or property owner, it’s important to know whose duty is whose, especially around home security. It’s all about effective communication to spot any signs of poor security issues in the property so landlords are well-informed and so you can both work as quickly as possible to resolve them. From security solutions to understanding the landlord’s responsibilities, we’ve got you covered with our home security guide for renters and landlords.

Are landlords responsible for home security?

Outlined in the landlord’s safety responsibilities, landlords must keep the property safe and free from health hazards for their tenants. That includes electrical and fire safety, ensuring that the electrical system is safe as well as all sockets, fittings, and appliances. 

Landlords must also provide at least one smoke detector on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance, like a coal fire or wood burning stove. They need to check that any tenants are able to access escape routes at all times and ensure that any furniture and furnishings supplied are firesafe. 

A landlord must also ensure that the home is secure and in good repair with all entry points being able to be locked, including all door and window locks, sheds and garages. This means if there’s any damage or if windows and doors are subpar, it’s the responsibility of the property owner to maintain them and get them in good working condition.

Who’s responsible for installing a burglar alarm?

Even though landlords are legally obliged to keep their properties safe for people to live in (for example: gas and electric checks), they are not legally obliged to install a burglar alarm. But tenants can have the conversation with landlords about what security system will suit the property best: wireless alarm systems or wired systems? And especially if the crime rates have risen in the area (see our Crime in the UK tool) or if there has been an attempted break-in, it’s a good idea to think about efficient home security for the property. 

Both the landlord and tenant can do their research on finding the best alarm for the property. For instance, with a wireless security system, the tenant can quickly set it up themselves, only needing WiFi, and they can use a smartphone app to be alerted of any suspicious activity or break-ins.

A DIY wireless security alarm suitable for renters

When improving the security of the property you’re in, a wireless SimpliSafe home security alarm is ideal as it can be easily set up without the need for a technician to come in to install it for you; all you need is a good WiFi connection. Tenants can also maintain this alarm system themselves and can connect it to a smartphone to view footage from the indoor security camera with alerts that come direct to their phone through the app. It can also sync with smart home integrations, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Not only that, you can also connect the smart alarm system with a whole range of alarm sensors to alert you of any break-ins, glass shattering, falling temperatures, water leaks and smoke detection, which property owners will be very thankful for. What’s good about this system is its ability to be easily transported. So if you’re a tenant that’s moving on, you can simply pick up the system and take it with you - the self-adhesive tape on the back of the sensors make it easy to fix them into place, as well as removing them from the wall. If you move into a larger property, you can also add to the system at any time, as it grows with you. 

Security tips for renters

Aside from a smarter home security system, make sure to check the property regularly for any security vulnerabilities, and put some security measures in place, like:

  • Hide away car keys and keep them out of sight. If you have a car with keyless entry, you can get anti-theft car key signal blockers too

  • When having windows open, lock them to a certain gap so that they can’t be opened fully

  • Keep valuables stored away from open windows and don’t leave things lit up and on show

  • You could add blinds and nets for added privacy and close curtains at night to keep prying eyes off any indoor valuables

  • If there’s a garage, make use of it and make sure the garage door is more secure

  • Light up any trespassers with motion sensor lights and warn them that the property is secured with a window decal and yard sign

  • Make sure sheds, garages, windows and doors are always locked, especially at night. And when having windows or doors open for air circulation and in warmer temperatures, be on high alert. You can also fit entry sensors to windows and doors to detect when they open to sound an alarm or to just alert you to keep you aware if anyone in the household has opened any

Having a good system for safety checks

It all depends on how you’ve set up the tenancy agreement, but it’s a good idea to let renters know that you’ll be doing property checks for security and safety, giving them advance warning so you can arrange a time to suit everybody. It may be once every six months or every three. But, you could also ask the tenants to do this for you and report back to you. 

If any issues are noticed, make sure you both are quick to respond to not leave anyone waiting and frustrated. If you’re a landlord and aren’t sure about installing an alarm, make sure you still listen to your tenants’ concerns and explain your own reasonings behind your thoughts. Or suggest they get a DIY wireless home security system so they can set up the system and take it down themselves, without causing any damage to the property. Everybody should be on the same page at the end of the day to decide what’s best for the property and household.

For any questions about what would suit your property, contact our friendly, knowledgeable team today. You can also have a go at building your own system right here.