What happens if your tenant wants to install their own security measures? Should a landlord stop them even though it may be in the interests of both parties?
We look at how a landlord can navigate the issue with their tenants and why additional security may be a good idea.
Do landlords have to install security systems?
While landlords need to provide a level of safety and security for their property, there’s no specific requirement to install security systems as there are for health and safety measures such as carbon monoxide monitors and fire alarms.
Installing a security system is likely to reassure tenants and may be an additional factor in choosing your property. If a security system is installed, you should make tenants aware of it and what it covers.
Neither is there a law specifically stopping a tenant from installing a security system themselves. Still, they must ensure that the camera only covers their rental property if it includes CCTV.
What does your tenancy agreement say?
The clearest direction on whether your tenant can install a security system is likely to come from your tenancy agreement.
Whilst having no legal weight to stop an installation, the terms of a tenancy agreement may stipulate that tenants can’t make alterations to the property, which could cover a new security system. Even if the landlord permits the tenant to install a security system, they may still be required to return the property to its original state when they move out.
Suppose the tenancy agreement is silent on the subject. In that case, a tenant may see no issue with going ahead and installing their own system, emphasising the need for a clear and comprehensive tenancy agreement.
Why extra security can be of mutual benefit
Before dismissing the idea of additional security measures, landlords should first consider the benefits this can bring them:
• Additional security can make your property more attractive to potential tenants
• Tenants get peace of mind, which means they are happier
• More security can deter break-ins and vandalism
• Avoid issues of liability after a break-in if tenants accuse you of not taking sufficient measures
• Giving a fair hearing to requests builds your reputation as a good landlord
How can landlords support new security systems?
It’s easier to accept changes if you are included in the process. By making sure tenants share access codes, operating instructions and by taking the opportunity to agree in advance to a new system, you can feel more comfortable and ensure that any changes don’t cause problems.
The right security system can give a mutual benefit. Still, it’s better to discuss before any action is taken to agree on a new system and ensure any changes stick to the tenancy agreement, which can be verified through tenancy check-in services and routine inspections.
If a new security system isn’t acceptable, take time to understand the tenant’s concerns and look for an alternative solution to ensure they feel safe in their home.
No Letting Go
If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your inventory partner, streamlining inspection processes, drafting tenancy agreements and reducing your workload and costs, then contact No Letting Go today.
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