Recent figures have shown there are 4.7m privately rented households in the UK, which equates to 20% of UK homes. Renting has become something of a necessity as rising house prices pose a challenge for many Brits to get on the property ladder.
More than 380,000 houses were broken into over the last year, with the lack of security measures tempting the average opportunistic thief. Landlords are required to provide minimum security through locks or security devices, as their only responsibility is to provide tenants with a secure place to reside.
If a tenant is unfortunate to encounter a break-in whilst renting, many landlords leave the tenant to fix any exterior and interior damages caused, resulting in many shortcuts and extra costs at the end of their contract- with 29% of landlords admitting to withholding the deposit at the end due to damages made to the property whilst the tenant was in contract.
The security experts at safe.co.uk have revealed their top tips to ensure tenants feel protected and ultimately are not left with any unexpected extra costs from their landlords due to criminal damage:
Before picking a house, know what you’re getting into. Walk around and check out the local neighbourhood for yourself. Graffiti and glass on the floor are just two signs that the area may have a crime problem. Looking at crime stats on Police UK can give you a good insight into an area.
We’d recommend that tenants visit the potential area and use it as if you were living there. Where’s your local corner shop? Visit at night and see how you feel. Will you be using public transport? Try out the commute to work and decide whether it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Many people can have access to a rented home, for instance, the landlord, the letting agent and even past tenants can have the keys to a property. Ask the landlord when the locks were last changed.
Burglars tend to not steal the doors or windows of a house, but they do look for the smaller valuable possessions such as televisions and laptops. The owner of the house will likely have insurance that protects their interests, but what about for the tenant?
A YouGov report shows that only 39% of people renting have some form of insurance for their possessions. Contents insurance is a must when all the belongings in the house are the tenants.
Some home security products require hardwiring, which isn’t ideal when moving to a new house. Purchasing battery-powered smart products such as a Ring Doorbell can provide that added protection. Better still, when the tenant moves to a new house the doorbell can be transported without any added stress.
Anthony Neary, Managing Director of safe.co.uk said, “Tenants have a lot on their plate when it comes to choosing where to live and whether they are moving somewhere safe.
“These tips will help give tenants extra assurance on how to stay safe and aid their financial wellbeing in the long term.”