In 2016, Statistics Canada recorded 159,119 incidents of crimes involving breaking and entering throughout the country. While these have drastically fallen in recent years (251,361 incidents took place in 2006), burglaries are still all-too common in Canada. Burglaries can create an enormous amount of complications and uncertainty, especially for those living in and managing rental properties. After a burglary has taken place, both landlords and tenants might wonder what their responsibilities are, and how they should deal with the situation. Here’s everything Toronto landlords need to know about rental property burglaries.
What steps should be taken after a burglary has taken place?
If your property has just been broken into, it’s important to take immediate action – the longer the wait, the worse the situation can get. Tenants should immediately file a police report and report anything that was taken or damaged in the burglary. After filing a police report, it’s important for tenants to quickly get in contact with their landlord or property manager to inform them of what has happened, assure them that a report has been filed, and discuss any next steps that have to happen.
If the property needs to be secured, this is where the police and a landlord or property manager will come into the picture. Doors or windows that have been broken or damaged during the break in will have to be boarded up until they can be fixed or replaced by the landlord. Toronto landlords should file claims with their insurance provider to cover the costs of replacing or repairing windows and doors. It’s also a good idea to look into installing a security system within the home, especially if you or your tenants are concerned about another burglary taking place in the future.
Who is responsible for damaged and stolen items?
After contacting the landlord and securing the property, tenants should promptly file a claim with their contents insurance provider, covering any personal items that were stolen or damaged by the burglar. Any stolen or damaged personal property is the responsibility of the tenant, whereas damage to the property is generally the responsibility of the landlord because it wasn’t caused by the tenant. The only exception to this is if the landlord can prove that the damage was somehow the fault of the tenant’s actions or inactions. Unless that can be proven, Toronto landlords will have to cover any remedial repairs to the property, regardless of whether insurance will cover it.
Reinforcing the importance of tenant insurance and security
The very real possibility of burglaries taking place in your rental property is one of the biggest reasons why Toronto landlords should always require that tenants have tenant insurance. Tenant insurance will protect the personal items that have been lost or damaged in a burglary, minimizing the overall stress that tenants go through as they look to return to normalcy. Security is another major consideration for landlords, especially for those looking to lessen the risk of break-ins. Though landlords technically only have to ensure that rental properties are safe and secure, adding additional security like alarms and monitoring services can generate goodwill with tenants and make a property appear much more attractive for families and professionals looking to settle down comfortably.
For more information about the Toronto property management and realty services offered by the experienced team at Highgate Properties, contact us today.