According to The Balance – Small Business, whether a property that you own is occupied or not, it is your responsibility to make sure that it is properly secured. If a person gets hurt while on the premises, he or she could file a personal injury or premises liability lawsuit. How do you know if you are properly securing your properties?
How to Protect Occupied Properties
First, make sure that your tenants have renters insurance, whether it’s their own or a policy through your property manager. This helps protect you from liability in case the tenants’ belongings are destroyed in an accident. You will also want landlord insurance to help protect you from major issues that could turn your investment into a drain.
If someone lives or works in a apartment complex, commercial building, or other property that you own, make sure to have a secured entrance. This should consist of doors that only open after a card is swiped or a password is entered. Furthermore, whoever accesses your building should have the chance to change a password or deactivate a key card at any time.
It may also be a good idea to have a reception area that a person must enter prior to getting into an apartment or commercial office. This makes it easier to keep track of anyone who enters the property. If anything happens while that person is on the premises, you can determine if he or she was allowed to be there and if a tenant was responsible for ensuring that person’s safety.
How to Protect Unoccupied Properties
While you may put less effort into protecting vacant properties, it is still important to do so. You could choose to have a property management company send people over on a regular basis to inspect for trespassers or other evidence of unauthorized entry. You could also put a security system in place that will alert police if anyone is in a home or a commercial building without permission. According to ProVigil Security Systems, “By using special recognition software that can automatically identify and respond to intruders, remote security guards can actively evaluate potential threats as they occur, and respond appropriately—by contacting monitors, activating remote deterrents, or alerting the local authorities.”
If a vacant property is being remodeled, there could be large equipment or other valuable tools left after work is done for the day. This could make it more likely that a person would want to come onto the property. It could be especially tempting for young children to enter a premises to try to ride a tractor or play games with friends in a setting where they think no one is watching them. In addition to a security camera, a locked gate or a no trespassing sign can be used to limit your liability.
Whether your property is occupied or not, it is critical that you provide security for it. Doing so can either prevent a lawsuit from occurring or reduce the chances that you are found liable for damages if one is filed by an injured person.
If you have a vacant lot that you have been keeping secure for awhile, talk to our professionals to see what your options are for profitable buildings to grow your investments.