Guest Post: 8 Ways to Secure Your Rental Property from a Distance

A lot goes into purchasing a rental property. Among other things, you need to calculate the costs, pay off any outstanding debts, secure a down payment, and find a Realtor.

You also need to choose a great location for the property to ensure high occupancy. If you haven’t taken this step yet, it may be worth your time to look into St. Petersburg. Turnkey notes that with a thriving art community and countless beaches, St. Pete is the perfect location for a rental property—especially a vacation rental. From Vinoy Waterfront Park to North Shore Beach to the Historic Old Northeast District, St. Pete has something for everyone.

If you decide to build a new rental property or buy an existing one in St. Pete—or in any location, for that matter—it’s essential to manage it well once you have it. That way, you can minimize your liability risks and maximize your occupancy rate. This article will discuss one of the most important aspects of managing a rental property—security. Here are eight ways to ensure your rental property is secure when you can’t be there:

1. Install surveillance cameras

When you have a property you love and it’s in a great location, securing it should be a top priority. As a landlord, you are allowed to have certain aspects of a security system in place, and you want to make sure it coordinates with your rental platform. Chief among these is surveillance cameras.

No, we’re not talking about putting cameras inside the home. However, installing cameras that look over the property’s perimeter and grounds (e.g., backyard, driveway, front door, etc.) is one of the best ways to monitor your home while you’re away and ensure that your tenants are safe.

2. Put sensors in place

Along with cameras, sensors can provide added security to your property. Smart sensors will alert you (via your smartphone, tablet or computer) when unwanted activity occurs. For instance, window sensors can be added to windows or doors, and you can program them to alert you or sound an alarm whenever a window or door is opened at certain times of the day. If you have a room with numerous windows, consider investing in glass break sensors, which will sound an alarm and/or alert you if the sound of breaking glass is detected.

Moreover, you can also get sensors that alert you when someone approaches your driveway, as well as temperature sensors, which let you know when the home’s temperature rises or falls too rapidly.

3. Add motion-sensing lights around the property

Motion-sensing lights are another option for beefing up the security on your rental property. Most burglars only attempt break-ins when the situation looks relatively easy. And many of them will scare off at the first sign that something has changed. Enter motion-sensing lights. Installed at your driveway, backyard, and/or porch, these lights will activate as soon as someone enters the proximity.

4. Use light automation

Another way to scare off burglars is to use automated lights inside your home. The primary function of these lights is to make your home look like someone is there even when they’re not. You can program automated lights to copy daily routines, abide by a custom schedule or turn off when no one is home.

5. Use a changeable combination pad

These days, it’s easier than ever for people to copy keys. Particularly if you deal with a lot of different tenants, consider getting a changeable lock to prevent future burglaries from happening. For example, invest in an automatic keypad and change the combination each time a tenant leaves. Also, key fobs are a good option because they’re difficult to copy.

6. Make sure doors, windows and hardware are secure