Practical Advice for Securing Your Rental Property
Rental properties are an investment; so naturally, you’ll want to secure that investment in every way you can. You can’t prevent every incident, but you can take steps to mitigate them, as well as limit your liability risks. Just as homeowners get insurance, add on protections with umbrella policies, and get flood insurance for properties located in flood zones, you should also take precautionary steps to monitor your investment property.
Property Management Company
Consider hiring a property management company
to be the first line of defense for your rental property. A property management
company will assign a person or a team of people to oversee the property. They
can take some stress off your plate by tackling some of the following tasks:
- Conducting regular site checks
- Managing security
- Overseeing landscaping
- Managing routine maintenance
- Ensuring repairs are made and done
- Collecting rent
- Finding tenants or helping you
- Making sure the lease is upheld
Having the extra set of eyes on your property
allows you to enjoy the passive income with less stress.
Alarm systems are an amenity that will add
value to your rental property. Whether you have a hardwired or wireless system
installed, the alarm system will alert both your tenant and
you of danger to the home in the event of theft, fire or other damage. While
this might seem like an extra cost, keep in mind that it increases the security
of your property and tenant, so it’s a worthwhile investment. The average cost
for installation is around $675, but that can fluctuate depending
on the sophistication of a system you choose. Once you have the system
installed, maintain access codes (or have your property management
company do it), and teach the tenant how to use the system. The cost for this
amenity can be rolled into the cost of the rent, or the fee can be split
monthly with the tenant.
Exterior Security Cameras
Visible video cameras installed on the
exterior of the rental property are a deterrent for burglaries, vandalism and
suspicious activity. The footage captured by these cameras can help you in
identifying activity on the premises, as well as local police, in case their
involvement is needed. Consult with legal counsel to determine the proper
placement of the cameras and limitations.
Tenants expect a certain amount of privacy, so
these cameras should never be placed in the interior of the home, they perhaps
should not be placed in the backyard, and they should not have an audio
component. Your tenant should be aware at all times of the presence of the
With some easy setup and WiFi, noise monitors
can ensure that you maintain happy neighbors around your rental property and
have no noise violations. Most devices simply plug into an outlet and are
bolted to the faceplate, connect to WiFi, and alert you or your property
manager when the noise levels are too high. You can have messages sent to your
tenants notifying them of the noise detection and afford them the opportunity
to remedy the situation. You can save you and your tenant some undue stress
with this useful device.
Limiting Your Liability
Consult with a legal professional about any
restrictions on these devices in your area. Your attorney can also construct a
lease that addresses whatever devices you install to monitor your rental
property, adequately inform your tenants of the existence of these devices, and
incorporate costs. They can also help you determine what signage, if needed,
should be placed on the property to inform guests.
Rental properties are a substantial investment and, therefore, they should be well-protected. Look for a qualified property management company to help relieve some stress, and install a quality alarm system and security cameras on your property. Save yourself from violations by investing in a noise monitor, and check with a legal professional about any restrictions you should be aware of. When your rental property is properly secured, your tenants will feel safer and more likely to stick around.
Author: Mark @ awarenesstoolkits.com