Your home is your castle, but these days a portcullis and a moat are a little difficult to incorporate into most houses if you want to keep them safe. That is why more and more homeowners are thinking about adding security equipment to their property, but what if you live in a rented home?
Here we take a look at whether you can add security equipment to your home and whether you should.
One of the most common forms of security to be found in domestic settings is security cameras. They can help to deter break-ins as well as vandalism and anti-social behaviour as well as being instrumental in helping to catch those who are responsible for such crimes. This can not only provide peace of mind for both tenants and landlords, but it can also sometimes help with insurance costs.
Security cameras can be installed outside of the property looking onto public spaces such as pavements, car parks and stairwells, but they should not be pointed at the windows of your neighbours. Installing cameras on the inside of a rental property can be more complex. If this is something that the landlord will be able to access at any point, then the cameras should not be positioned anywhere that the tenant should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The can be placed in internal spaces that are not considered private such as laundry rooms, hallways and other shared spaces.
Cameras can provide constant footage or be motion activated to make it easier to review what has been recorded. Doorbell cameras are also a popular addition to many homes as it can give the tenant an extra level of convenience whilst also helping to keep any unwanted visitors away. These are an inexpensive option and are easy to install, so can be a preferred choice for many landlords.
The cost of protecting the property and ensuring that it is secure is down to the landlord, and so the responsibility to do this tends to lie with them. This includes changing all locks and keys for every new tenant and installing alarms, cameras and smart technology if they feel the need to do so. They should inform tenants if they plan to do this, and details should be included within the lease agreement.
Landlords can see huge benefits from adding security cameras to their rental properties, as the added safety can make it more appealing to prospective tenants, as well as making it much easier to keep an eye on a vacant property. Most cameras offer the ability to view the footage that they capture remotely, making it easier to respond to problems and supervise repair work if the landlord is not able to be on site.
If you are a tenant who feels that the property that they rent could benefit from added security, you should speak to your landlord about this. Provide them with the reasons that you feel it is necessary and make sure that if you intend to add it yourself that you have expression permission to do so or you could face charges when leaving the property.
Keeping a property secure is of benefit to everyone involved, so it should be a high priority of landlords and tenants alike. Whilst these are great additions to any home, you should always be aware of the privacy laws that govern the use of camera and where they can or cannot be positioned, as well as the level of access to the footage that should be expected.
Nick Booth is the Director of ISET Solutions, who specialise in home security and automation technology for trade and businesses within the bio tech, corporate sector and beyond.