It is important to protect your vacant property.
There’s no doubt that any vacancy to your rental property costs money. Every single day that you don’t have a renter in your investment property is another day that you get stuck covering the costs. Don’t make things worse by not paying attention to what’s happening around the home. A vacant property is a beacon to burglars and unwanted house guests. Be sure to protect your vacant property while you’re in between renters by following these simple tips:
Watch the News- Be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood or city. Keep up-to-date with the local Phoenix news and be aware of any events throughout the city. An aware property owner has the upper hand when it comes to safeguarding their home. If there is any activity that appears to be near your home, take extra precautions to protect your vacant property.
Consider Getting an Alarm – Alarms can give homeowners peace of mind. If you are concerned about expenses, consider increasing the rent you charge to cover the cost of the alarm system. Being able to get help quickly is imperative to helping protect your vacant property. Not only will you have peace of mind, but so will your future tenants.
Install a Few Cameras- Technology today is much more advanced and cost effective when it comes to monitoring your home. Having an alarm is great, but giving the police a detailed description and profile of who has been snooping around is even better. If your home is in a neighborhood that is known for break-ins or property damage, consider installing a few cameras to keep a watchful eye.
Make Friends- Although you might have never lived in the home or neighborhood, try making a few friends. Introduce yourself to nearby neighbors and make them aware of your situation. When neighbors know that a home is being rented, they appreciate the heads up and are more alert when it comes to looking after your asset. If you can, find someone you trust and hand over a key and the alarm code for those special occasions. You may even want to give them the contact details for your insurance agent in case you can’t call them in a time of emergency.
Turn Off the Water- Make sure the water and the electric water heater have been turned off while no one is living in the home. Having a flood while trying to rent out your property is a costly headache that can easily be avoided. This should also include “winterizing” your home in the colder months. Pipes that have burst are the last thing anyone wants to deal with, so protect your rental property by checking and double checking everything before winter gets here.
Look Out for Fire Hazards- Go through the home and unplug any lamps or other unnecessary appliances from the wall. Chances are you won’t be using them and can save big on the electric bill. Be sure to check the lint ducts to make sure they are cleaned out as well.
Lights On or Off?- This can be a source of great debate. You want it to appear that someone is living in the home at all times, but you don’t want to waste resources or pay for unnecessary costs. It’s recommended that you put your lights on a timer. That way, it will appear as though someone is flipping the switch. You don’t want your home completely dark except for the front of the home, so be sure to strategically leave a couple lights on a timer that would make also appear that people are home.
Keep the Yard Manicured- One indicator that a home is vacant is an unruly or unkept yard. If the weeds are getting out of control and the grass looks more like a prairie than a yard, chances are no one is home. Try to keep up with the yard work, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Install a Security Door- If you are concerned about break-ins, it might be worth it to install a security door to help protect your rental property. It’s just another barrier that someone would have to get though to get into the home. Security doors are also great for when people knock on the door. Tenants will be able to open the house door to speak to the person without them looking into the home or even seeing the person they are trying to speak with.
Stay aware of your home and surroundings while its vacant by following these tips. Make sure to continuously check on the property or have a house-sitter do it for you. You will be a much happier landlord by keeping your asset safe and your wallet untouched.
Have you followed any of these tips? What other ways do you safeguard your asset? Comment below!