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 well
- Collecting rent
- Finding tenants or helping you find tenants
- 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 cameras.
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