If you’re looking to build wealth, investing in real estate can be a great way to diversify your streams of income. Many investors also choose real estate because of the tax benefits and the protection against inflation.
But while real estate investing has many benefits, it also involves a variety of risks. In addition to market risks, there are also the challenges of maintaining a property. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure that your property is safe and secure for its residents.
Hiring a security consultant can be a great way for landlords to ensure that they are meeting these obligations. Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider using a security consultant for your income properties.
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Understanding a Landlord’s Obligations
One of the most important reasons to hire a security consultant is to ensure that you hold up all of your obligations as a landlord. A consultant will help you to evaluate your building’s safety and security to minimize your risk of liability.
Maintaining a Safe Environment
As a landlord, it is your obligation to maintain a safe environment for your residents. Often, landlords assume this means limiting dangers fire hazards and insecure structures. But it also means ensuring that the building is secure.
For instance, it is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that all windows and doors lock properly. Additionally, all doors to the outside should have deadbolt locks. The outside of the building should have sufficient lighting.
A security consultant will be able to evaluate your property to make sure it is compliant with these standards. They can also recommend necessary changes.
Practicing Safe Habits
In addition to maintaining a secure structure, it is important that landlords have good habits that don’t put their residents at risk. For instance, no rental property should have more spare keys made for it than necessary. Extra keys can put residents at risk of a break in.
Also, landlords should avoid allowing repairmen and technicians to enter the home unsupervised. Doing so could lead to claims of robbery, which the landlord may be held liable for.
Landlords can develop a set of security protocols and best practices by working with a security consultant. This will help landlords ensure that their behaviors do not put residents at risk.
Another source of risk that landlords must be conscientious of is the presence of other tenants. If you own a multi-tenant property, like a duplex or an apartment building, then it is your responsibility to make sure that your tenants’ neighbors do not pose a security risk.
To protect tenants, landlords should always perform background checks. Additionally, tenants should be required to sign an agreement regarding acceptable behavior while living on the property. Landlords should have a zero tolerance policy for any criminal activity.
It’s also important to consider the risks associated with your pet policy. If you allow your tenants to own large dogs like pit bulls or German Shepherds, you run the risk that a tenant’s animal will attack someone.
A security consultant will help you set up a system for screening potential tenants. Having a clear policy will make your building more appealing to tenants.
Investing in Your Investment
It’s easy to see how a private consultant can help landlords provide a more secure environment for their tenants. But some landlords may wonder whether the payoff is worth the cost of hiring a consultant. In reality, working with a consultant can pay off in a big way for landlords.
Increase the Value of Your Property
We all know the famous saying in real estate: When it comes to value, it’s all about location. In reality, this is only true to a certain extent.
While the location is certainly important for determining the value of a rental property, it is not the only factor. For example, tenants are often willing to pay more for a property with upgraded finishes or new appliances. The same goes for properties with increased security.
The key is to set your property apart from other properties in the same location. Features like security can help landlords do just that.
Security Features that Pay Off
A consultant will be able to help you determine which security features will add the most value to your property. Depending on the median income of the renter you are seeking, tenants may be more willing to pay for certain security features than other ones.
A basic security feature is an alarm system. These are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain and provide your tenants with an increased sense of wellbeing. If your property already has a security system, this can differentiate it from other similar options in the area.
A higher-end option would include installing security cameras in addition to the alarm system. Not to mention, security cameras give the landlord the ability to monitor their property and to ensure that tenants are abiding by the policies and standards.
If you own an apartment building in a high-income part of town, you may even consider investing in a security guard company. Apartments with doormen provide an extra level of security by ensuring that no unauthorized persons enter the building. This investment is a particularly good option if you are looking to establish your building as a luxury option.
With these kinds of security features in use, you will be able to appeal to more high-end clients. This can increase the amount of money that you will be able to collect from each tenant. Increasing the rent for each unit can multiply the potential payoffs that you will get from your investment property.
Hire a Security Consultant Today
A security consultant is a great resource to protect landlords from liability issues with income properties. It can also increase the value of your rental. This can give you peace of mind as you manage your real estate portfolio.
If you need to find a security consultant regarding your investment properties, contact us. We’ll work with you to find the advisor you need.