Just the Peaks
This newsletter at a glance
Everest explores how local lawbreaking could affect your multifamily
We often hear that “crime is on the rise,” but it’s not until something happens close to home that we really pay attention.
On April 12th, suspect Frank James, 62, boarded a Brooklyn subway and set off smoke canisters before going on a shooting spree. Thankfully, nobody was killed.
However, ten individuals were shot and at least thirteen were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries. Sadly, this is just one of many NYC crime stories reported on in recent months. Back in February, a report showed a 60% increase in major crime from a year ago.
And despite the new mayor’s promise to combat gun violence in the city, the NYPD reported an increase in every major crime category since 2021 including robberies (+54%), grand larceny (+56%), and assaults (+22%).
No doubt, people living in the city are anxious in this current climate.
From the subway to suburbia
Safety problems are not exclusive to the big city, as rural and suburban locales are also experiencing their own surges in property crime as well as violent crime.
In some areas of the country, people living in multifamily apartments and other communal environments never had to worry about their wellbeing. Now, with major news stories rousing fears, tenant safety is a huge concern. No matter where your investment is located, renters deserve to feel safe and comfortable in their homes.
At the end of the day, you can’t control break-ins, porch pirates, auto theft, aggravated assaults, and other unfortunate incidents in and around your building. However, you can mitigate risk by prioritizing tenant safety and the security of your property.
Multifamily owners—let’s stay ahead of this crime wave!
Everest brings you some practical measures for protecting your renters and their personal property. Beyond these points, be sure to review your local landlord-tenant laws and consult a professional for matters of insurance and liability.
5 Ways to Increase Security at Your Rental Property
Install security cameras
Multifamily crime is not always committed by strangers lying in wait. Oftentimes, people with legitimate access to the building—including residents—are the perpetrators of theft and similar crime. Having visible cameras both indoors and outside deters lawbreaking and helps document any illicit events that may occur.
Pro Tip: It is illegal to install security cameras INSIDE individual units. Keep watch in common areas such as stairwells, hallways, lobbies, and main entrances and exits.
Invest in good lighting
Having a well-lit building is a surefire way to reduce crime. Landlords should quickly replace light bulbs as soon as they burn out and ensure common areas such as stairwells and hallways are brightly lit at all times of day. This philosophy also applies to outdoor spaces of the property such as walking paths, driveways, and trash areas.
Pro Tip: Sconces, path lights, and other landscape lighting create subtle ambiance. However, you can also install more intense flood lights that are motion activated.
Properly secure all doors
To prevent break-ins and enhance overall safety, main entrances, back exits, and individual unit doors should be constructed of steel, wood, or similar solid materials. While glass improves lighting and adds decorative appeal, it’s an easy target for criminals. Also, install deadbolt locks with chains, peepholes, and intercom systems so residents can screen visitors before granting them access to the building.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget windows! Many criminals gain entry not only through doors but via unsecured windows on fire escapes. Check that locks are working and consider security bars for ground-floor units.
Remove obstructions near entrances
If criminals are intent on ambushing a tenant as they enter the building, it’s much easier when they can hide behind a tree, bush, or similar large object. Around paths and walkways, keep landscaping clean and regularly remove overgrown shrubs. This exposes would-be perps while boosting the overall curb appeal of your property.
Pro Tip: If you own a larger multifamily apartment or housing complex, hire a 24/7 security guard to monitor the property.
Screen your tenants
In the era of video doorbells, multifamily residents have learned that strangers aren’t always the greatest threat. Criminals could be lurking from within, especially if landlords fail to perform adequate background checks. Studies show that drug activity, physical assaults, and robberies are most often perpetrated by fellow tenants. Protect residents from potential bad neighbors by checking for recent convictions.
Pro Tip: Some laws prohibit or restrict landlords from inquiring about criminal records. Always look into the specific conditions and legality of application screening in your state.
Everest says: better to be safe than sorry