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NOTIFYING YOUR LANDLORD ABOUT A BREAK IN

If your apartment, townhome, duplex, house, or other rental property is broken into, you should notify your landlord for a number of reasons. Sometimes the trauma associated with experiencing a break in, whether you were home at the time or not, is significant. For the simple reason that in times of emotional trauma it can be difficult to think clearly, you may at first not remember to inform your landlord. Even if you did not go to your landlord immediately following the incident, you should contact him or her as soon as it comes to your mind.

Having a positive relationship with your landlord naturally helps interactions and changing lease obligations go as smoothly as possible, but keep in mind that this is not a requirement. All tenants will feel nervous or uncomfortable on occasion, depending on the type of issue that needs to be brought up with their landlord. If you are at all concerned about your landlord's reaction, you might wish to ask a roommate or friend to accompany you to the property management team. However, you should also remember that a break in is not your fault. In approaching your landlord with the news that one has occurred, you are not going to make a confession, you are going to report news that needs to be shared for practical reasons.

Reporting Damages

Quite often a break in will correlate with damage to the physical structure of your rental unit. Areas around the door or windows could have been damaged in the course of a forced entry. Also, you may discover that a burglar has mishandled many larger items in your home, perhaps significantly damaging larger objects that were not stolen. In this case, it is possible that furniture, appliances, even walls and floors were harmed in the process. It is vital that you report the break in, in this concern, so that you are not blamed for damages to your apartment.

Another aspect in which damages will need to be reported concerns the police. If someone broke in and stole personal items of yours, you will want to personally file a police report in hopes of getting your stolen items back, and perhaps also to fill a renters insurance requirement. In some cases, you may find that your personal items did not go missing in the break in, but that signs of forced entry are evident. When this is the situation, you can consult with your landlord about filing the police report. Because the property is technically your landlord's, he or she will most likely need to be centrally involved in making the report. When you report the incident right away, the two of you can calmly discuss together how best to proceed.

Safety Considerations

Beyond covering yourself in light of structural damages and making a police report, there are other, more immediate, reasons for reporting a break in. Many people feel substantially less safe for a period of time following a break in. At times, this feeling can be based on a fear that you simply will have to process and slowly work past. In other cases, however, the fear is very realistic and should be addressed as such. If the break in that occurred took advantage of an apparent weakness in the apartment's security, you will want to speak with your landlord about ways to shore the apartment up against future attacks. Notifying your landlord about a break in can serve the purpose of obtaining better locks, a better alarm, or other safety considerations for your residence.

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