Rental properties can be a great investment. When you find the right renter, they can take care of your property as if it were their own. A good renter will keep you updated on any issues that arise in the home. However, the nature of rentals is that they are generally temporary living situations for tenants. Therefore, as an owner, you will likely experience some period of vacancy at your rental.
Unless you live next door or right across the street, this can pose some security concerns as vacant homes are especially vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Opportunistic criminals survey homes they suspect to be vacant and plan their intrusion. By taking some simple precautions you can deter trespassers and avoid costly damage to your rental property.
Ensure all locks and latches are in working order.
Simply inspecting locks and latches can go a long way. Often homes that are robbed show no signs of forced entry. This is usually because a sliding door or a garage door was easy to open. Invest in quality locks and inspect them periodically. Don’t forget the windows!
Keep up with landscaping.
Homes that have overgrown landscaping are a sure sign that no one is paying attention. If you are nearby, spend time at your home caring for the exterior. Trim shrubs and bushes. Cut unwanted vines and any crawling foliage away from the home. If you have falling leaves or palm fronds, rake and dispose of them neatly.
Install motion and timed lighting.
Install motion lights at all entrances and lower level areas that are susceptible to forced entry. If you have sheds or pool houses on the property, consider putting motion lights there as well. Having exterior lights on a timer is another excellent way to make the home look lived in. Remember that leaving a porch light on at all hours is a tip-off that no one’s home.
Have an alarm system and use it.
Some say that noise is the biggest deterrent for thieves. Homes that are protected by an alarm can run vandals off and inform you that there was an event. Your home’s alarm system is linked to a call center that will notify you immediately every time the alarm is triggered. Furthermore, alarm companies typically supply homeowners with signage that you can post around your yard to let passersby know that your home is armed.
Make friends with your neighbors.
Enlisting the helpful eye of neighbors is a great way to protect your vacant home. If you’re still shopping for a rental property, look for a home in a community with a neighborhood watch program. Tight knit communities mean safer homes, in general.
With these precautions, you can fortify your home from those who would do it harm. Additionally, talk to your home insurance provider about coverage while your home is vacant. Make sure you understand your benefits and limitations should you have a break-in event while you’re away.
Get a quote for your rental home today from one of our experienced agents. Click here to find one in your area.
American Integrity Insurance is committed to providing Florida homeowners with sound, comprehensive insurance coverage and an extraordinary customer experience. We strive to be a valued partner to our policyholders, agents, and community.
We offer traditional and high valued homeowners insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, and the special coverage required for vacant homes, manufactured homes, and policies designed for those who need less coverage or are renting out their home. We also offer extra protection, including flood insurance, umbrella insurance, golf cart insurance, boat insurance, cyber coverage and identity theft protection as well as equipment breakdown coverage, to help address a broad range of needs facing Florida homeowners today.