Possible break-in at rental. What steps do I need to take?

7 Replies

My tenants came home to an open window. They called the police to inspect the home and make sure no one was still in there. They did not notice anything missing or disturbed, but they just started moving in a few days ago, so they don’t have much in there. 

We’re going to change the locks and check all the windows to make sure they’re working/locking properly. The windows fold in for cleaning, and I did clean all the windows before they moved in. If I didn’t reset/lock them properly, I could see how it could fall inward. There are no screens on the outside. 

What steps do I need to take? Should I look into a security system for them? The house is my former primary. We never had an issue in the 3 years I lived there. 

The solution is simple and inexpensive.  Purchase a SimpliSafe alarm system.  Only purchase a keypad, a transmitter and one or two motion detectors.  The are super simple self install items that you can put in your house when its vacant and when you rent the house you put the alarm components back in the box, put it back on your closet shelf, go onto your phone app and stop the monitoring service until the house is empty and your portable security system is back in place. There is no contract and no minimums.  Its all batteries, no wires and works great. You can also put a smoke/fire detector in your kit if you like.  Its worth every penny, it keeps out vandals, thieves, and squatters.


@Nicole Heasley this is your chance to shine as a landlord. Let the tenant know that it may have been a matching issue and you’re willing to change the locks and get them the security system recommended by @John N.

It was probably nothing - but taking the extra steps (not very expensive) will help the tenants feel secure and let them know that you’re serious and looking out for their best interests.

@jim vanhorn

Jim, no wifi required.  Simplisafe base units are cell powered.  They provide you with either an att or Verizon SIM card, whichever you prefer for best service.  No extra charge for that, just at part of monitoring service.   It does require electricity but it does have a 24 hour back up battery.

I use them for my residence and I have my portable system I set up in empty rental with motion detector.   I set it for 0 seconds till alarm if triggered and I just turn it off with the app before I go in or let anyone else in.

@John N. Thank you for informing us about SimpliSafe.  I have a SF rental - the prior welfare tenant was Locked Out but I have a feeling she has been sneaking back into the house.  I think this SimpliSafe is the solution.  Thank you!

UPDATE: Due to the insanely high humidity we've been having, the windows simply weren't latching properly. My handyman came out and fixed the window and secured several others that also weren't locked. The locks are changed on all the doors, and everyone is happy! The tenants already have a security system from their previous rental that they're setting up.

Thanks everyone!