How to Protect Your Rental Property When it’s Vacant
No landlord likes the thought of having a vacant rental property; but inevitably, all property owners deal with this at one point or another. Vacant properties are susceptible to vandals and thieves, so protecting your rental should be a top priority (other than trying to find a tenant, of course!) Here are some tips on how to protect your vacant rental property:
- Ask neighbors for help: Neighbors can be your best friends and allies when it comes to your property. Ask them to keep an eye on things, and report any suspicious behavior. If criminals know the house is being watched, they will be less likely to try to break-in or destroy property. You may even consider asking them to park their car in the driveway so it looks like someone is home.
- Use Timers: Put your outdoor lights on a timer and use motion sensors whenever possible. This will help make it look like someone is home. Have the lights that are on motion sensors turned away from the house so they are visible from the neighbors’ home. This alerts others that there are people on your property.
- Install deadbolts/security systems: These are a must-have security item for any property owner, but you must be extra vigilant when the house is empty. Depending on the crime rate in the area, you can install deadbolts and other security measures.
- Make your visits often and irregular: If you live close-by, visit the property often and at different times. Change things up – close/open blinds and curtains, open windows and doors, etc. In essence, you want to make it look lived-in.
- Hire a property management company: Even if you visit the property on a regular basis, consider hiring a property management company to maintain it. They can cut the lawn, rake leaves, remove snow from the sidewalk or driveway, and can even help you find a suitable tenant. Don’t think of a management company as an expense, think of them as an investment.
- Make occasional changes: If there is a porch with furniture, try changing it around once in a while; set out some flowers on the porch and move them once a week; Perhaps now would be a good time to get to all of those outdoor improvements like painting, cleaning eaves troughs and replacing or fixing the roof and windows.
The bottom line? Don’t give anyone the idea that the property is vacant, or you will be inviting trouble. There are many ways to protect it from would-be thieves and criminals who make a career out of breaking in to homes and destroying property.
While the property is vacant, take advantage of this time to provide upgrades or updates and ensure it’s as clean as possible for showing to prospective tenants. You’ll also want to think about your rental rate. Now is the time to increase it if you like (just make sure it’s still in line with other similar property rentals in the area.) If you advertise and take advantage of a management company’s expertise, your property shouldn’t be vacant for long.
Benefit National can help maintain all of your rental properties, and keep your vacant rentals safe from would-be thieves. Visit the website today for more information.