Do you feel safe at home in your rental property? Are you concerned your home may be at risk of a break-in? Has your home been broken into in the past? More importantly, do you feel your landlord has fulfilled their responsibility in ensuring your family is safe from potential security risks? Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Ashleigh Guerin.
Earlier this year, Ashlee Guerin’s unit was broken into for the third time in seven months. Her landlord failed to provide a reasonable level of security to her unit and put her family and possessions at risk. Guerin consistently requested for the security of her unit to be upgraded; however, the landlord had not followed up with her requests, which resulted in further break-ins to Guerin’s apartment. After the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) hearing, the landlord was found to be liable for the damages and was sentenced to compensate the tenant for $5000 worth of stolen belongings.
This unfortunate event displays how vital it is that landlords and property managers need to be made more aware of what “reasonable secure” security measures are. Rechenberg advises that tenants contact their landlords or their real estate’s property manager and express their security concerns. Home security measures you can suggest to your landlord or property manager can be installing security alarms, replacing locks, installing surveillance cameras or installing sensor lights.
A responsible agent or landlord will go beyond the minimal measures to ensure the safety of the tenant, and there belongs. However, if you believe your home may be at risk of a break in, and you find yourself in Ashleigh’s position, there are a few extra steps you can take to reduce your risk of a break-in and protect your family while your property manager or landlord are processing your request.
- Do not leave keys outside (for example, hidden under a doormat)
- Ensure all entry points are locked at night or when you’re away from home
- Conduct a lock check on all entry points to ensure locks are secure
- Keep all valuables out of view and out of reach
- Be careful about sharing personal information
If your request has not been followed up by your landlord or property manager, you can send in a formal complaint to the Rental Tenancies Authority and express your concerns.