Summer Heat Brings Higher Crime Rates – Top 3 Ways to Safeguard Your Apartment Community

May 26, 2016
Police Line Do Not Cross

The bright summer skies, warm weather, and longer days, bring not only great times with friends and family, but also a spike in crime. The reasons behind this unwelcomed increase in criminal activity is often contributed to more people being out and about, higher numbers of unsupervised teens, and an increase in opportunities to commit crimes.[1]

As your tenants leave to go on extended vacations, their apartments may become ideal locations for vandalism or theft. Plus, tenants may be more likely to leave windows open to air out their apartments or forget to lock patio doors after coming inside. These “mistakes” can invite thieves in, looking to grab valuables.

In comparison to Fall and Winter crime rates, during the summer months (June through August), the rates of burglary, larceny, rape, and sexual assault can increase as much as 30%, in some areas.[2] [3]

Despite this alarming statistic, most crime can be prevented by using simple, practical strategies. As a property owner, you can also do your part to ensure your property is well protected, all year round, and that your tenants feel safe.

Here are three safety considerations you should keep in mind in regards to how you prevent, handle, and respond to criminal activity within your apartment community.

  • Make sure your security measures comply with local and state regulations

For all rental properties, a landlord or property owner must comply with city and state regulations. Most local ordinances may require certain security features be present in each unit. These often include peepholes and deadbolt locks. Failing to install and maintain these security features could cost you (and your tenant)! If a crime occurs and it can be proven that you were negligent in upkeeping these security features, you could be sued and penalized thousands of dollars.

  • Be aware of your responsibilities as a landlord

State law requires property owners to act reasonably in regards to taking steps to ensure their tenants’ safety. This includes making sure that lobbies, common areas, and parking areas are well lit and that all precautions were taken to prevent foreseeable crime from occurring. Easy security measures like trimming bushes, installing outdoor lighting, having building doors locked, or installing fences around patio areas are all easy and affordable ways to deter crime.

  • Be vigilant and identify potential security issues

The most effective way to prevent crime is to ensure that your building does not have any areas that are more vulnerable for crime. Doing a quarterly walk through of your premises is a great way to see any security breaches and fix them before crime occurs. What may not have been an issue in the Winter when the trees were bare, may now, in the Summer be a security concern. Having dark areas or areas overgrown by bushes make it easy for a would-be criminal to hide and attack an unsuspecting tenant. Having bi-annual meetings with your tenants is also a great way to find out about their security concerns and what strategies they may want to see implemented. Keeping your tenants vigilant and reminding them to be aware of their surroundings is also key.

Protecting against all crime is nearly impossible, but with these things to consider you are well on your way to making sure your property is as safe as it can be.

At Top Floor Insurance, we are your go-to apartment insurance community provider and are well aware of the financial and reputational liabilities that crime poses to your property. If you are looking for additional insurance coverages to give you the added protection you need, no matter what happens, give us a call today at 404-266-3218.