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Property Manager Safety Tips

When a suite/property is available to rent, property managers will encounter many people interested in viewing and renting the suite. The applicant is usually a stranger. Their motives may not be just viewing.

Buildings have been broken into after mangers have detailed security systems and inadvertently identified weak areas to fake applicants. Spare keys, resident files, and rent collection procedures are vulnerable. Personal safety is also an issue.

Rent Collection

  • Do not accept cash. Accept cheques, money orders or arrange for direct payment.
  • Don’t use signs to indicate rent payment drop-off location.
  • Vary rent collection and bank trip routes and times. Don’t be predictable.

Keys

  • Do not hang keys on an open pegboard. Keep keys secure and private.
  • Use a coding system to identify the keys.
  • Do not reveal spare key storage location to maintenance or contract people.

Office and files

  • Lock resident files in a secure cabinet in a secure room.
  • Do not show applicants where files are kept.
  • Always lock the office door when you are absent – theft takes seconds.
  • Avoid using personal space for your office/interviews.

Showing suites

  • Request picture identification before showing suites. Record it and any vehicle information.
  • Always carry a fully charged cellular phone. Keep it accessible.
  • Limit what personal information you provide.
  • Inform your office or coworker that you are showing a suite – leave a name and a time frame for completion. If possible, have a co-worker or maintenance person join you.
  • Do not close suite doors. Do not get trapped in small places like laundry rooms or underground garages. Have the applicant enter the area first.
  • Always trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling listen to it – you are probably right.
  • Have an emergency plan in place – assume the worst possible outcome.

If something goes wrong

  • Call 911 in case of an emergency. If it is a non-emergency, call the complaint line at 780-423-4567.
  • Do not confront the applicant.
  • Never threaten or attempt to use a weapon – any weapon you carry may be used against you. The threat of a weapon may cause escalation.
  • Advise your management company or owner.