Rent Sense: Be Safe

Last Updated: September 28, 2012By

By Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco

We want to feel safe where we live. Therefore we naturally inquire when we visit a potential rental home, condo or apartment, “How safe is it here?” What seems unnatural is when the answer to this inquiry is less than straightforward and even seems evasive. It can sound like there’s some awful secret that no one wants to reveal.

Consider these facts when confronted with this situation:

– Making such statements as, “I live here and have never had a problem”, or “This is a very safe place to live”, can be legally construed to create a false sense of security in the minds of existing and potential residents because this representative should know and therefore speaks as an authority.

– There have been legal references to such statements as a guarantee of personal safety when a resident has suffered a theft or worse. In some cases these references have sufficiently attached financial liability for a variety of incidences to the ownership and or management of the property. Examples include: burglary, break-in, theft, property loss or damage, harassment, assault and rape.

– As a consequence every rental owner is wary and every real estate professional has been trained to avoid such statements. “Security” is a term that is generally absent from any advertising or presentation.

– In addition, common sense tells us that “personal safety” is often a very subjective attitude. This attitude can govern routines and habits that might seem “risky” or “unnecessarily cautious” to others.

We might feel better with the assurances of an eager leasing specialist or a rental owner /manager that are comfortable due to daily contact with the property circumstances. However, logic dictates that no one can or should try to replace our personal perceptions of security with their own.

About Rent Sense

“Rent Sense” is an informative article for Rental Owners or those looking to become investment property owners.  This weekly insight is brought to you courtesy of Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco, President and Vice President of FBS Property Management in San Diego, CA. The goal of “Rent Sense” is to educate existing and perspective property investors on the Property Management field, the ever changing Real Estate regulations as well as the technology advances being made by our company and other industry leaders. We have been in business for over 40 years, cover 65 zip codes, over 700 single family homes and over 1,200 clients thus providing us with a variety of topics to discuss.  Neil, Chris and the rest of the FBS team is available at 619-286-7600 or


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