When you have investment properties that you rent out to tenants during the year, it’s not enough to choose someone to live in the place and then sit back and collect the rental coffers.
To ensure the homes you own achieve top rents and cost you less in the long run, you must be vigilant about property maintenance and renovations. Plus, it pays to think about ways you can make excellent renters want to stay living in your properties for years, so you don’t have to keep finding new people and lose income for weeks at a time.
One idea is to ensure that your places are not only comfortable but also secure. People want to feel safe in the homes they rent and know that their children, pets, and belongings aren’t at risk from thieves or others with ill intentions. You can do five top things to help make your investment homes more secure in 2022 and beyond.
Increase Visibility and Reduce Hiding Spots
Firstly, deter thieves by reducing the hiding spots they can use to scope out properties and use for cover when up to no good. Increasing visibility by cutting back or removing trees, shrubs, vines, and the like will discourage people from choosing your properties to try to break into or damage.
Utilize On-Site Managers or Security Guards
Another helpful deterrent is having people on-site regularly who are focused on security, whether it be on-site managers or hired security guard companies. These options are best for those cases where you own unit blocks or retirement villages, or other large property complexes where the cost is warranted. In particular, these services are ideal if your investments are in high-value areas where you can also charge high rental fees to tenants.
Ensure There’s Proper Lighting
Lighting is critical, too. You need adequate outdoor lights installed at rental premises to turn people off from trying to get up to no good at the properties. Well-lit areas always become less of a target. You can light up pathways, front and back doors, fence gates, etc., with solar-powered lights that don’t cost much to run but boost security significantly. For unit or village complex owners, you’ll also want to install lighting in hallways, stairwells, between buildings, and so on. It’s wise to make these motion-activated so they don’t need to run all the time.
Don’t scrimp when it comes to securing the windows of your properties. Criminals regularly use these points to enter and then exit homes and buildings, even when the windows might seem too small or too high up to be useful. People can be innovative and persistent, so don’t give them a reason to try to break in this way. All windows need working locks, whether on the ground floor or high up or located close to fire escapes or street lights or elsewhere.
You may want to add security bars or screens to windows in areas where crime is more rife or for units or houses where ground-floor windows could be tempting to criminals. Another security option to consider is window sensors that sound alarms if anyone tries to tamper with the locking mechanisms.
Lastly, pay close attention to doors. It’s vital to secure all entry and exit points in multiple ways. For example, you want doors to be made of solid, heavy-duty materials such as wood or steel and not be hollow and easy to damage and break into. While glass doors or those with some glass panels may look appealing and be fashionable, these aren’t the most secure options because the glass can be smashed.
Another tip when considering doors is that those with peepholes are handy, so tenants can see who’s standing outside before they open up. Plus, add security screens and chain locks for additional safety. Deadbolt locks are ideal, especially double-cylinder deadbolt products. These are especially worth investing in when you have doors situated close to windows that thieves could break and then reach through to unlock doors.
Furthermore, it’s worth adding some security cameras and alarms to and near the doors of properties. These deter criminals and can be purchased and installed for an affordable price these days.
These five solutions to investment property security may cost some money, time, and energy to sort out, but they are usually well worth it. You will make your tenants happier, attract higher rental rates, and avoid damage to your properties that you have to fix over time, too.