Do I need permission to install CCTV?
I want to improve the security of my property with CCTV.
One of the important things to remember when you are a landlord is that your property is your tenant’s home.
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Your tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of the property and this right includes the fact that you must always contact them to organise visiting the property, finding a time that works for both of you and getting their permission.
However, by installing CCTV, or even a doorbell cam, you suddenly have access to their property all the time, without them having any say in it. You would be able to see when they come and go, when they have deliveries, when they have visitors – and your tenants probably feel this is an invasion of their privacy.
While CCTV and doorbell cams can be very useful, it’s understandable that your tenants aren’t keen for you to have that level of access to their home and that is something you are going to have to accept.
What if I don’t trust my tenant?
If you were hoping to keep an eye on your tenants, ask yourself why that is. Is there an ongoing issue that has caused you to lose trust in them? Or are you worried that they are up to no good?
If you are concerned about your tenants, there are a few things you can do.
- Organise an inspection. Speak to your tenants to find a convenient time to come round and make sure everything is being well taken care of. This will hopefully reassure you that nothing untoward is happening. If, however, you see anything that troubles you, from domestic abuse to criminal activity, you will have to take action
- Make a report. If you are worried about criminal tenants, you will need to go to the police with your suspicions and any evidence you have.
- Start the eviction process. If your tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement, perhaps because they are in arrears or are using your property as a base for crime, you can serve a Section 8 notice which will start the eviction process. This may take some time, but if you have Mashroom’s Rent Guarantee Insurance, you will have legal support and advice throughout the process
What other ways can I improve security around my property?
If the issue isn’t about trust in your tenant and you really have a genuine desire to improve security, a doorbell cam isn’t your only option.
- Update the locks. Make sure the front door is fully secure with both a deadbolt lock and a normal lock, as well as a door chain. While this may feel like overkill, a deadbolt lock provides an extra layer of security against break ins and the chain is a reassurance for your tenant if they have an unexpected knock on the door. Make sure you arrange all of this with your tenant first, so they are not surprised when the locksmith arrives
- Update the windows. How secure are your windows? If they are older or damaged, this could be an easier way in for potential burglars
- Invest in a security system. Rather than a camera, think about installing an alarm that your tenants can set when they go to bed at night or when they leave the property
- Install outdoor lighting. Lighting that comes on when there is any movement outside could deter vandals or thieves as they are more likely to be spotted up to no good
How can my tenants ensure the safety of my property?
Don’t forget that this is your tenant’s home, so they have a vested interest in keeping it safe, so they are going to be on your side here! When you drop by for a visit, you could have a chat about what precautions they are taking.
- Making it look like someone is at home. When your tenants go out for the evening, it’s a good idea to leave a light or two on, so it looks like someone is home.
- Lock up thoroughly. Your tenants should be careful to ensure that all the locks are used and the alarm, if you have one, is set when they go out. Especially if they are going to be away overnight or for several days
- Check before you leave. Advise your tenants to take a moment before they head out to make sure that windows are closed and they haven’t forgotten anything that might allow a burglar to get in
- Get covered. It’s also wise to ask your tenants if they have Contents Insurance. They don’t have to have it, but it will cover them in the event of a burglary, so they don’t have to worry about replacing everything out of their own pocket
As you can see, there are many ways to level up the security of your property without your tenants feeling like their privacy is being invaded. We encourage you to take the time to talk to your tenants about what would make them feel safer in their home, as well as the ways you want to protect your property.