What to do if your rental home has been burgled

What to do if your rental home has been burgled
15th August 2023

While the number of burglaries in England and Wales has been on a downward trend for the past 20 years, there were still 275,919 carried out in the year 2022/23, according to the ONS – that’s an average of over 750 a day, with January tending to be the peak month.

Analysis of crime survey data by Nottingham Trent University, revealed that private rented homes are 63% more likely to be burgled than owner-occupied dwellings. That’s because they generally tend to have far fewer security measures in place and tenants may be less vigilant about security than homeowners – particularly in HMOs.

So, how can landlords and tenants reduce the chance of a rental property being burgled?

Keeping a rental property secure

Burglars are generally opportunistic and look for properties with any opening they can take advantage of, such as doors and windows that are unlocked or easy to force. They also want to go unnoticed, so tend to strike when properties are unoccupied and often under cover of darkness.

Here are some key measures that can be taken to deter intruders:




  • Close and lock doors and windows when you leave the property
  • Secure bikes and other high-value equipment out of sight
  • If you are going away for a period of time, let your landlord or managing agent know so they can make periodical security checks
  • Put lamps on timers to make the property look occupied, especially during the winter when there are longer hours of darkness


  • Install motion-activated lighting at the front and rear of the property
  • Cut back any shrubs near doors and windows that could give cover
  • Plant prickly or barbed shrubbery along boundaries
  • Have gravel driveways and paths so anyone approaching the property can be heard
  • Make sure all doors and windows have secure seals and can be locked
  • If the property is empty, make security checks at least once a week or speak to your managing agent for help

For both landlords and tenants, it’s important to be aware of the need to keep your property secure in order for your insurance to be valid. If a burglar has managed to enter the property without having to break in – e.g. if a door or window was left open – you are unlikely to be covered.

Steps to take if a rental property has been burgled



Checklist for tenants

  • As soon as the burglary has been noticed, call the police and then the landlord or managing agent
  • If there’s any suspicion that the burglar might still be in the property, don’t enter (or leave immediately)
  • When it’s safe to enter, take photographs of any damage or interference with the property or contents
  • If you have contents insurance and need to make a claim, contact your insurer to begin the process – remember the landlord’s insurance won’t cover your own belongings

Checklist for landlords

  • If the property is let and your tenants have contacted you or their agent to report a burglary, check they are safe and find out what damage and theft has occurred
  • If they have not yet called the police, advise they, or the managing agent does
  • Contact your landlord insurance provider if you need to make a claim and ask what they need
  • Visit the property yourself as soon as possible, or have your managing agent attend
  • If doors or windows have been broken, arrange for an emergency contractor to make the property secure as soon as possible, via your insurance company
  • If the property is not secure for the tenants, check the tenancy agreement or speak to your managing agent regarding your obligations.

To find out about how our landlord and tenant insurance policies can provide cover for both theft and property damage in case of burglary, visit our website, call the team on 01903 890044 or email us on info@bodeinsurancesolutions.co.uk and we’ll be in touch.

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