A break-in can be distressing for tenants and they may feel unsafe after. Both tenants and landlords have responsibilities which will help make each other feel more secure about the property.
According to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), the contents of the rented property are the responsibility of the tenant, so it is important to have an insurance policy in place.
The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 states, “The lessor must supply and maintain the locks that are necessary to ensure the premises are reasonably secure.”
However, there is no standard definition of “reasonably secure” and this will depend on the property and its surroundings.
Tenants are responsible for keeping the property secure, such as locking doors and windows and not lending keys to friends. Maintenance issues should be reported to the Landlord/Property Manager in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, the Landlord/Property Manager is required to provide an appropriate level of security for the property. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, they are obligated to provide a secure, clean unit in good working order for a tenant to live in. Locks must be supplied and maintained, while broken doors and windows must be fixed within 24 hours.
Immediately after a break-in, tenants should contact the police and notify the Landlord/Property Manager. Insurance claims should then be made for the stolen contents as well as any damages to the property.
Moving forward, security can be tightened up by installing alarms, sensor lights, security screens and window locks.
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