Did you know that in the United States a burglary occurs approximately every 18 seconds?
This startling fact should alert both you and your property management company that home security needs to be taken seriously when it comes to your Howard County investment property.
The thought of anyone breaking into your Howard County rental, especially if it is currently occupied, is a scary one to say the least. And, it is your responsibility as a property owner to ensure the safety of your tenants while they reside in your rental. After all, wouldn’t you agree that everyone, including your tenants, wants to feel safe while at home? Plus, added security measures can be used to garner more interest in your property and rake in extra monthly rent if tenants view your safety measures as added value to the property.
Today we are going to discuss ways you can secure your rental home by offering some of the best home security tips we know. Keep reading to find out how you can provide your tenants a safe place to live while protecting your investment at the same time.
4 Tips on How to Keep Your Rental Home Safe
Rental property security does not have to be difficult or outrageously expensive. Take a look at how to protect your property and the people inside using these top home security tips.
1. Secure All Entryways
Approximately 30% of all burglaries are committed through an open or unlocked window or door. In addition, even if your doors and windows are properly locked, burglars do not hesitate to break them in order to gain entry into your home. Because of this, you should follow these preventative tips for discouraging thieves who may want to break into your rental property and cause trouble for your property and tenants.
- Remind tenants to keep all doors and windows locked, especially those on the first level
- If your property’s door is worn, cracked, or hollowing, replace it with a solid wood or metal door
- Install a heavy duty dead bolt lock on all doors
- Consider a smart doorbell so your tenants can view who is at their door before answering
- Place a motion sensor light above the doorways
- Mount a security camera at all entryways
- Don’t forget to secure the garage
- Warn tenants of the danger that comes with hiding a spare key on the outside of the property
- Consider installing a keyless entry system
More importantly, you should rekey your property anytime your tenants move out in order to prevent them from entering after moving out. This is true even while your property is vacant awaiting new tenants. In the end, this is often more cost effective than replacing all of the locks and secures your home for the next tenants you place in the property.
2. Consider Installing a Security System
If your Howard County rental does not currently have a security system, it is time you consider making this investment for the safety of your property and more importantly, the people residing in it.
According to SafeWise, there are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right security system for your home:
- Monitoring Type. A security system that is installed in your property must be able to communicate to the monitoring center day and night. The three ways of communicating with your monitoring center include a landline connection, cellular uplinks, or a broadband connection.
- Installation Options. If you are handy and want to attempt to install the system in your property yourself, some security companies will mail you the equipment along with step-by-step instructions for how to do so. On the other hand, if you do not want to risk installing the system yourself and making a mistake, most security companies have a professional installation option that comes with an installation fee.
- Home Automation Option. If you want your tenants to be able to control the security system while away from the property, consider getting a home automation feature added to your system. This will allow tenants to control things like the lighting, appliances, and thermostat, as well as allow them to view live surveillance if there are security cameras installed on the property.
Which type of security system you install in your Howard County rental property will largely depend on your individual needs and budget. Luckily, there are many options on the market today to choose from that will help you attain proper home security for your tenants.
3. Expose Hiding Places
It should come as no surprise that those looking to break into your property are going to conceal themselves as much as possible. After all, criminals do not intend to get caught in the act. This is why it is crucial to reveal all potential hiding places that burglars can use to get in without anyone seeing them.
To start, add some intelligent lighting to your property. For example, motion sensors on the outside of your property not only boost your security efforts by lighting up areas burglars may want to hide in, they provide your tenants light at night while leaving and entering the home. In addition, you can install automatic timers inside your home to turn lights on and off in the property while your tenant is away to give the impression someone is home. In the end, appropriate lighting can help prevent thieves from targeting your rental home in the first place.
Next, trim all hedges and bushes in both the front and backyards regularly. This can be done by requiring your tenant to maintain the yards or by having a professional landscaper visit your property regularly. Either way, cutting back on large shrubbery will make it more difficult for a criminal to hide out in your yard waiting for your tenants to leave or go to bed.
4. Recommend an Away-From-Home Plan
One of the best ways to keep your rental property and tenants safe is to take a proactive approach to home security and openly communicate ways in which to stay safe with your tenants. A great idea that will help your tenants stay safe, protect their personal belongings from burglary, and keep the structure of your property damage-free is to recommend they have an away-from-home plan. Here are some ways your tenants can secure your rental property and their personal belongings while away for an extended period of time.
- Have the mail put on hold or picked up by a neighbor or friend
- Stop newspaper delivery services
- Arrange for a friend to regularly drive by and check on the property
- Ask a neighbor to remove any fliers or brochures that may be placed on the door
- Have the lawn mowed, the snow plowed, or leaves raked
- Do not announce future absences on social media
- Store all valuables in a locked safe
- Check the security system and make sure everything is working
Again, being proactive is one of the easiest and most effective ways of discouraging criminals from inviting themselves into your rental property.
If you own rental property in the Howard County area and are concerned about the security of your rental home, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help you. With plenty of experience in the rental property business, Bay Management Group can become a key player in your investment property’s security. Plus, we can help you manage everything else property related so that you can rest easy knowing that your property is secure, your tenants are safe, and your rent is collected each and every month.