Property managers know that just about everything that occurs on their properties, including maintenance issues and property damage, is legally their responsibility. If you own or manage a property in which a violent crime has taken place, reacting to the situation is your responsibility as well. There are several actions that you must take as a property manager immediately after a violent crime has occurred such as contacting law enforcement, discussing the incident with your tenants, handling the paperwork, and making sure the crime scene is cleaned up. Crime scene cleanup is the one thing law enforcement will not help you with, making it solely your responsibility to make sure the scene is cleaned and restored.
Restoring a Crime Scene on Your Property
The scene of a violent crime generally contains biohazard materials such as blood, tissues, and other bodily fluids that can easily spread disease and infection among your tenants. The first thing you should do is talk to your tenants about what happened and if any of them are in danger from the biohazard materials at the scene, it is your responsibility to relocate them to a safe place. Once your tenants have been taken care of, you should immediately turn your attention to containing the biological threat of the scene and beginning the restoration process. Because you are legally responsible for restoring a crime scene to a safe, livable condition, you should call trusted professional crime scene cleaners to handle the restoration.
Professional crime scene technicians have the right cleaning equipment, products, and experience to handle crime scene cleanup for even the most intense scenes. These professionals are well trained to cooperate with law enforcement officials during the crime scene investigation and they also understand that these situations can be emotionally overwhelming for those who witnessed the crime or know the victim and they will treat your tenants with the utmost respect. Crime scene cleanup services involve the containment of the scene followed by the removal of all biohazard materials, decontamination of the scene, and deodorization to remove foul odors. After the scene is restored, your tenants will be safe to return with no physical evidence left of the violent crime that has occurred.
Part of the responsibility of a property manager is to respond to criminal activity taking place on your property and if a violent crime has occurred, you must act quickly to protect the safety of your tenants. Make sure you find a reputable crime scene cleaning company right away that can be trusted to effectively clean and disinfect the area as well as treat your tenants with a sense of compassion and respect. The faster you get the crime scene cleaned up, the quicker you and your tenants can move on from the tragedy.