It is one issue to have your own home vandalized, but it is another problem altogether to have it happen to a rental property you might not live anywhere near. When rental properties are vandalized by a third party, it can leave your tenants feeling targeted, and give you a sense of helplessness. When tenants themselves cause the vandalism, it can leave you in a very tricky situation.
For these reasons, it is paramount that you know what to do after your rental property is vandalized, what counts as vandalism, and what you can do to reduce the risk of it happening again.
What Counts As Vandalism?
Vandalism is an issue sadly so common that news and media outlets often have pages dedicated to the matter, covering everything from drive-by spray painters to serious criminal damage. This is likely because the term vandalism covers any sort of targeted damage or destruction of a property in a way that diminishes its value – even down to something as simple as graffiti on a garage wall.
With an estimated 44 million renters across the United States, and with such a wide-ranging definition of vandalism, it is no surprise that there are so many reports of rented properties being vandalized each year.
The very first step you should take when assessing your vandalized rental property is to get in touch with your insurer. As a landlord, you will no doubt have some landlord insurance that covers you for situations exactly like this, and quality insurance companies, such as kbdinsurance.com, will be able to advise you on what compensation you can claim.
If the vandalism has come from the resident tenants, it is also essential that you contact your estate agent. Agents dealing with real estate know what you can charge tenants for damage and can also advise you if you’re considering serving an eviction notice.
Rectifying The Issue
Once you have dealt with the financial and administrative side of the vandalism, you will need to repair any damage and take measures to reduce the chances of it happening again.
Choose a quality option from one of the many professional builders across the country if serious repair works are necessary – using a recommendation from a friend or colleague is always a good idea – or reduce costs by doing the work yourself if it is only superficial damage, such as stained walls or drawings on a door.
Once the damage is repaired, think about increasing the security around your property. Invest in a high-tech home security system, install a video doorbell, and sign up for a neighborhood-watch scheme. It is also worth putting signs up near your property to show potential offenders that this protection is in place – it’s all very well being able to identify vandals after the crime has been committed, but it is even better to deter them altogether.
In conclusion, there is no sure-fire way to prevent vandalism from happening, but measures can be put in place if you’re willing to invest a little time and money. As umbrella protection, ensure you have comprehensive landlord insurance, to cover you should the crime be repeated.