How do the recent [tag-tec]terrorist[/tag-tec] attacks in Great Britain and Scotland affect us?
Should [tag-self]landlords[/tag-self] and real estate investors be particularly vigilant?
Can it really happen to us?
These are questions we need to ask. It’s time, unfortunately. Yes, I do believe there are terrorists sleeper cells in America. And I also believe we can do something more about protecting ourselves.
1. Landlords need to check out the backgrounds of tenants more than ever
Most of the [tag-ice]terror[/tag-ice] suspects were living in rentals. They had landlords and neighbors. A quote by one of their landladies really chilled me because I understand exactly where she is coming from.
"When the agents (rental) said someone was interested in moving in, I asked what the person was like. He said: ‘He’s a young Asian man from down south. He’s a doctor.
Of all the houses in Houston, why did they have to pick mine? It’s frightening,” said Mrs. Mills, who lives in the nearby village of Kilmacolm.
Mrs. Mills had rented the house out through Let It, one of Scotland’s largest residential letting agencies.
Do your own investigating. The days are over when you can totally depend on any rental agency for all your information. You need to do your own sleuthing.
2. Neighbors and other tenants should report any suspicious activity
In hindsight, there were lots of odd things happening around these rentals.
The suspects were constantly changing cars. Many of these cars were expensive models such as Mercedes. Unless the tenants were car dealers this should have raised a red flag.
Here is what one neighbor had to say.
"One thing that was odd about them was that they always drove different cars. I have seen a light colored Mercedes standing in the drive, a silver Peugeot, as well as a silver Astra,” the 25-year-old Royal Marine added:
"They sometimes had visitors showing up at odd times. Once an Asian man in his early twenties arrived at the home in a Mercedes at 1 AM.”
The suspects were also reported to have been unfriendly to the neighbors.
We need the right communication with our tenants. This is more important than ever.
Why? When obvious, odd behavior happens, we can be on top of it. The police really need to know about such activity.
3. Recognize our responsibility for homeland security
It’s easy to say we’re too busy, or we don’t want the hassle. Several major plots have already been thwarted because of good citizens. We are on the front lines whether we really want to be or not. The lives of our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers may be as stake.
Here is an excellent article from The Daily Mail which gives a good synopsis of the attack in Scotland.
Be warned, at least one photograph of a suspect is very graphic.