How to Make Sure Your Rental Property Isn’t a Target for Criminals
Owning a home is a major asset, but it’s also a liability. If your home was subjected to damage or burglary, the financial loss would take a toll. This is true for a rental home as well as your own residence, yet maintaining the security of a rental property poses some extra challenges. Whether you have long-term rentals or vacation properties, you can’t always be on-site to keep an eye on security yourself. What you can do is put the right measures in place to keep potential criminals away, as outlined here by Peak Property Management.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
The best way to reduce the stress of owning a rental property, especially worrying about security, is to hire a property manager like Peak Property Management. Besides just handling maintenance and tenant relations, property managers also help watch over the place, serving as your eyes and ears. They may not be on-site 24/7, but their presence and relationships with tenants go a long way toward increasing security.
Rental property owners should also consider getting a professional security system. Your property manager can keep an eye out for anything suspicious, but a security system helps in case there ever is an actual threat. Having a security system that is professionally monitored keeps tenants safer, and knowing that first responders would arrive on the scene right away will give you peace of mind too.
In addition to a professional monitoring system, associated apps can be great ancillary tools for monitoring your property (or properties), but you will need to stay on top of the app and check it fairly regularly, which can be a data eater if you’re not careful. If you do go this route, make sure you opt for a system that gets top reviews, has an easy-to-use app and that your wireless data plan is up to the task when it comes to extra usage. Many of these apps can be used with a smart home security system that features video monitoring, video doorbells, and communication with your smartphone or tablet in case of emergency or questionable activity.
Find Tenants You Can Trust
While the risk of security issues coming from tenants may be low, it’s still a major point to consider. The best way to avoid trouble is to attract the right tenants. This is yet another benefit of hiring a property manager because tenant screening is one task they can easily handle. In addition to screenings, Realtor Magazine recommends adding a clause to the lease agreement that tenants can be evicted for any criminal activity. This clause may scare off tenants you wouldn’t want, and it also gives you legal recourse in case of an incident.
Along with screening, it’s also worth investing a little time and money to make your property appeal to good tenants – regardless of the neighborhood. When you offer simple upgrades and features that are slightly better than average for your location, the tenants you attract are more likely to respect the property and less likely to be untrustworthy. Trustworthy tenants are also the types to appreciate (and, according to Bigger Pockets, usually willing to pay extra) for a home that is safe.
Having a security system is essential for protection, but don’t rely on that alone. Taking these steps to ensure your rental property is one criminals avoid is just as important:
- Focus on entry points: Doors and windows are the weakest points in the home, so it’s worth investing in solid construction, deadbolts, and locks on windows as well as doors.
- Lighting: Any rental needs ample outdoor lighting, and because you aren’t there and can’t control when lights are used, it’s a good idea to install motion sensor lights. If you have a vacation property, you may also want to install smart lighting that you can control remotely when the home is vacant.
- Exterior: Strategic landscaping is another simple way to ward off criminals. Avoid planting trees or dense shrubs too close to the home, which provide easy access and hiding places. You also want to make sure the exterior stays well-maintained and that criminals don’t have a good view inside a home. Installing blinds is an easy fix that discourages criminals from targeting the home.
The great thing about all of these measures is that your best tenants and guests are sure to appreciate the extra security too. As a property owner, one of the smartest things you can do is treat security at your rentals like you would at your own home. This will ensure customer satisfaction and protect your investment at the same time.
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Peak Property Management offers a wide range of personal services for long-term and short-term residential estate properties. With our many years of experience, we are able to accommodate all of our client’s specific needs. Contact us today for more info! (970) 688-9004