There were almost 200,000 home burglaries in England and Wales between March 2022 and March 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Unfortunately, this means that landlords should treat home security as a priority to protect their property and their tenants.
If you want to make your property more secure, read our guide for information on the best home security systems, the benefits of wireless systems, and whether you should opt for professional or DIY installation.
The benefits of a home security system for any property owner are simple – it can reduce the chances of a break-in, giving you peace of mind that the property and its contents are secure.
In rental properties, there’s likely to be more coming and goings if you have multiple sharing tenants or if you have a high turnover of renters. As a result, there could be more security risks due to people you don’t know visiting the property, lots of people having keys, or the property being empty for extended periods.
So, for landlords, not only can a security system protect your investment, but it can also help to make tenants feel safe. When advertising your property, good home security could make it more appealing to prospective tenants.
Security cameras are an important part of many home security systems, but you may be wondering whether it’s possible to have cameras in an occupied rental property.
There’s no law against landlords installing cameras as part of a home security system, but they must be used responsibly. This means they can’t be used in private areas of the property such as the living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms and should only be used for security.
If you’re looking to install cameras with tenants already living in your property, you’ll need to get their written consent. For new tenancies, you’ll need to inform prospective tenants about any recording equipment and include clear guidelines in the tenancy agreement.
If you’re using exterior cameras that record outside of your property’s boundary, you should do your best to point them away from neighbour’s homes and shared spaces. Read more about domestic CCTV rules on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
You should approach using security cameras with caution and make sure you get legal advice about how they can be used if you’re unsure of anything.
There’s no reason why tenants can’t install security cameras in your property, but they’ll need your permission first.
If you don’t already have cameras and your tenants want to install some, they’ll need to follow the same guidelines – using them responsibly and for security purposes only.
When choosing a home security system for your rental property, it’s important to do your research and pick a provider that meets the needs of you and your tenants.
One of the best-known security systems comes from Ring (owned by Amazon), thanks largely to the popularity of the Ring doorbell.
Alongside the video doorbell, a Ring system can also include cameras and sensors. Users can set up notifications and control alarms from their smartphone, with paid options for assisted monitoring.
Ring is suitable for all property types and is easy to install yourself. One of the main benefits for landlords is being able to have different settings for when tenants are at home or away, or to completely disarm the system.
Here’s an overview of what they provide:
These days, most home security systems are wireless. This makes them easier to install, plus there aren’t any wires for intruders to cut.
Wireless systems give users more options to customise their security, which can be useful for landlords. For example, being programmed to work at set times or in specific areas of the property.
There are also better remote access options, usually in the form of an app. This is especially useful for landlords as they don’t live at the property themselves.
One of the pitfalls to consider is poor connectivity. If a wireless system uses wifi, you need to make sure your internet connection is strong and reliable. That being said, many wireless systems rely on cellular connections, which don’t require wifi.
Another thing to think about is maintaining batteries. If batteries in sensors, cameras, or alarms run out, the system won’t be fully functional. So you’ll need to make sure you check batteries during property inspections, and remind tenants to check them regularly.
The cost for a basic home security system including alarms, cameras, doorbells, and censors could cost in the region of £200 to £600.
You’ll need to pay extra for installation, while professional monitoring or extra products could cost around £30-80 a year.
Most basic systems should be easy enough to install yourself, saving you some money. Wireless systems also tend to be quite easy to set up without much disruption.
You might need professional help to install a home security system if:
It can be useful to regularly remind your tenants of how they can help to keep your property and their possessions secure.
Here are five things they can do:
Most landlord insurance policies will cover damage or loss caused by a break-in or attempted break-in.
However, before installing home security, it’s important to check your policy documents to make sure there are no system requirements.
These could include:
You should contact your insurer if you’re unsure how a home security system could affect your cover.
What are your tips for installing a home security system? Let us know in the comments below.
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
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