Rental housing owners have asked me many times, “Why should I invest money for security on my property? It’s very expensive and besides, I’m a taxpayer, the police are supposed to provide this protection for me.”
The truth is that providing adequate security makes good business sense. A relatively crime-free property is good for business. In some markets there is fierce competition among property owners to keep occupancy rates high while still attracting that good resident. Good residents tend to abide by the law, pay the rent on time, sign long leases, make few demands on management, and maintain their apartments in better condition. All of these attributes generate greater net-operating-income for the property owner.
Good residents have options about where to live and are making judgments about personal safety before signing a lease. More than ever, landlords must make a greater effort to provide a reasonably safe living environment to attract and retain residents. Research shows that new residents are looking for housing that is conveniently located, clean, affordable, and safe. A property that satisfies these criteria will sign up more rental prospects, receive more renewals and referrals from current residents, have less turnover, fewer maintenance problems, and less management headaches.
Experienced property managers agree that a property with a truly integrated security plan will retain a higher percentage of good residents. Your best residents will move out of a property where crime and disturbances are tolerated by management. On high-crime properties, I always find a higher percentage of marginal residents living with constant fear of crime and contribute to the downward cycle of property deterioration. No one wants to live in such a hostile environment!
Reprinted with thanks and permission of Chris E. McGoey. Mr. McGoey may be reached at (951) 461-8950 or by visiting www.crimedoctor.com This article may not be copied or republished without the consent of the author.