Besides interviewing potential tenants, collecting the monthly rent, and tending to necessary repairs, one of the most important landlord’s tasks is to keep the tenants, everyone’s belongings, and the property itself safe. In this line of business, reputation is a crucial element of success, which means that if you don’t do anything about making your tenants feel safe, the word will eventually get around, especially if something which could have been prevented happens and you might find yourself being avoided by reputable tenants. Here are a few recommendations on how you can keep your rental property safe to avoid such prospects.
Add external lighting
If the streetlight doesn’t adequately illuminate your rental at night, this could pose a danger to the tenants’ safety and the belongings. Many thieves rely on the cover of the night to relieve you of your possessions, so you shouldn’t make it easy. Instead, it would be a good idea to install additional lighting outside of the rental, which will improve the overall safety and boost the rental value in the eyes of any prospective tenants. Adding motion-sensor lights could be an even better idea since the burglars wouldn’t stand a chance in the sense that they wouldn’t want to risk sneaking to the place only to activate the lights. If the tenants see the lights going off, they can swiftly check what is going on, so this purchase could be excellent prevention and a worthy investment.
Take out an insurance policy
It often happens that the thing we fear the most doesn’t turn out to be the biggest of our problems, and this is also true in the case of thieves because other things can pose a bigger challenge for your rental. For instance, the tenants and your rental might be put in danger by floods, fire, earthquakes, and other calamities you cannot control, which is why it is imperative to emphasize to your tenants to practice caution. Although certain events cannot be prevented, there are ways to ensure you get help in case they occur. The wisest decision in that regard is to take out a home insurance policy because of financial security and other benefits, such as removing debris in case of an earthquake and special covers for landlords. Another element that can be added to the insurance policy is counseling after a traumatic event so, as you can see, the policy can be quite comprehensive should you want it to be.
Install a home security system
When thinking about additions, which would make the rental more secure and attract reputable tenants at the same time, one thing that should pop to your mind is a home security system. In general, doorbell cameras are considered a great plus by the tenants. Not only do such security systems make a house a safer place, but they can also include remote surveillance and even carbon monoxide detectors. If your rental isn’t a luxurious residential property, you can opt for simpler packages. Depending on your needs and the budget you are willing to allocate, you can choose between single-service theft monitoring, which is rather basic, and a mid-range option, which includes mobile access and notifications. Naturally, you can also go for a complete package that boasts 24/7 surveillance performed by a person. Still, if you are focused on common residential properties, perhaps this would be an unnecessary expenditure. Whichever you opt for, any money you invest in a home security system can be paid off with a rise in the monthly rent.
Screen prospective tenants
Last but not least, on the list of manners to increase your rentals’ security is screening potential tenants. Landlords spend so much time worrying about thieves, fire, and floods that it often doesn’t occur to them that what can cause a threat to their belongings are the tenants they let into their property. No matter how excellent a judge of character you may think you are, keep in mind that there are people who swindle other people for a living. Before you make a deal with somebody and let them into your rental, you need to do some background checkup to see if those people are reliable. Luckily, different software tools can help you check their credit reports and whether they had any issues with paying their dues. Another piece of information you can check is whether they have any criminal background, and if you rent more than more property, it would be good to make some database of all applicants so that you can have all data close at hand.
Having in mind that your rental is probably a vital source of income, perhaps even the main one, to be able to rent it at a fair price, you need to provide optimal conditions for the tenants, not just in terms of comfort and functionality, but safety as well. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t choose your tenants carefully. Still, by doing everything you can to ensure their safety, you will also tend to secure your belongings and recover what you invested through the rent.
Mariia serves as editor-in-chief and writer for the Rentberry and Landlord Tips blogs. She covers topics such as landlord-tenant laws, tips and advice for renters, investment opportunities in various cities, and more. She holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and you can find her articles in such publications as Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Benzinga, and RealEstateAgent.