Safety Tips for Landlords by Jeffrey Taylor, Mr. Landlord

Mr. Landlord is probably the country’s most beloved speaker, period. It’s probably because he’s super-experienced (over 40 years in the business), super-successful (collects over a million a year in rent!), super-sharing (he teaches how to increase your rents and decrease vacancies by providing more services to your residents!) and, well, super-entertaining.

If you’re in the Greater Cincinnati area and you’d like to come see him live, he’s here on Saturday May 12th at the REIA Expo, which is free and open to the public. If you can make it, I sure would. https://www.cincinnatireia.com/default.aspx for more information.

A few months ago, national news headlines highlighted two different realtors (each at separate locations) who were victims of crimes when showing a property. Several landlords share security reminders and safety tips below.

This can be a volatile and dangerous business. People become emotional when money is involved or they are losing their home and even otherwise normal people can lose control and do heinous things. Therefore, never let your guard down with prospective tenants. And even with long time tenants if things are “going south” or become contentious, be on guard.

Realize that you may not even be aware that a long time tenant has an anger against you simmering internally, or has unknown drug issues – anything can happen. Be careful around unknown “friends” of tenants.  I’m not saying you have to look for threats under every bush, but be aware of what is going on in your “world” and avoid putting yourself into compromising situations – (i.e. in a back bedroom with two prospects with the door to their back, not yours, hence no escape.)

If you have a contentious situation with a tenant it may be best to remove yourself from the equation and let an attorney or others handle it. However – you may not be able to do that. You may have a problem tenant in a multi-family. You can’t ignore the whole property because of one thug who is acting out.

Some landlords may not have the funding to hire out their eviction processes. A dangerous tenant can always return after the fact to extract revenge. You just never know. In such situations use video, always have a second person. I have a “dash cam” just like the police. I can park my car facing the area I will be operating in, so if I am attacked it will be on video. I recommend this. Quality cams are under $100.

I don’t want to get into the pros or cons of firearm defense here, but if you should choose to carry, you must fully understand your laws and you must train to a point well beyond what most people consider they need. Be aware and stay safe.

A second landlord shared the following tips: I am female. When showing a unit to a male, I never enter the unit. I open the door before they get there. I speed dial my office with record of plate number as soon as they arrive. I ask to see their ID and take down their info. I then invite them to go in and look around. I do not enter unit if I am alone and applicant is alone.

A third landlord shared: People who attack do so often because they see the victim as alone and weak. Don’t be alone. Having a second person – a handyman, cousin, brother, work buddy, Army buddy, etc. with you is probably one of the most effective methods of deterring attack.

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