5 Tips to Keep Your Rental Property Safe

This post was written for SafeWise by Stephen Fox from Advantage Pointe Properties.

Aside from providing shelter to your tenants, your rental property should keep your renters, as well as their belongings, fully secured. This means that, as a property manager, you need to offer optimal protection against break-ins, burglaries, and other events that might harm those who rent your property. By protecting your rental property, your renter's satisfaction and security will dramatically improve, assuring you that they'll rent from you for a long time.

Safety tip #1: Secure main entrances

Most entrance doors have deadbolts installed on them. Although you can use either a single- or double-cylinder deadbolt, it's a good idea to install a double-cylinder deadbolt as it is more secure. If you have a main entrance near a window, a double-cylinder deadbolt can prevent a thief from reaching through the window and opening the door.

You can also improve the safety of your entrances by installing metal or solid wood doors. As much as possible, stay away from hollow wood doors or doors with windows, as these are very easy to break. A solid door is ideal for those who want to fully protect their property.

You can also encourage tenants to use door jammers for an added, simple precaution. And if you have to evict a tenant and aren’t able to get all the keys returned, it's important to get the locks rekeyed before a new renter moves in.

Safety tip #2: Consider hiring a property manager

You need to maintain your property to ensure you have your renter's satisfaction. This can be difficult if you live far from your property, work a full-time job, or simply don’t have time to perform regular upkeep on your rental location. Hiring a property manager can not only help with this, but also deter would-be burglars because someone is always monitoring and present on the premises.

You may want to hire a property manager to take care of any issues and problems as they arise. Property managers specialize in screening tenants, maintaining the location, and keeping an eye on the area. A property manager can simplify your life by handling all the time-consuming, day-to-day work and making sure your rental is protected.

Safety tip #3: Check the window security

Most windows are fitted with a locking mechanism that prevents them from being opened from the outside. However, in most cases, a burglar can easily break the window and unlock it or climb through. You can combat this risk by installing locks on your windows because if burglars see these, they will probably second guess whether or not to break in.

You can also install window sensors that will sound an alarm if your window is tampered with. Some will even send an alert to your smartphone so you know immediately when your rental property’s security has been breached.

Safety tip #4: Install a security system

A security system may seem like a big investment, but it will help to fully secure your property. There are a variety of security system options, so you'll find one that fits within your budget and needs. As you shop for a security system, make sure you find one that includes everything you need—like door and window sensors, smoke alarms, and motion-detecting lights.

Many new security devices are very convenient because they're DIY, so they’re easy to install, and are remotely accessible. As long as you are connected to the device—likely through an app on your smartphone—you'll be able to use it with ease. Monthly monitoring generally isn’t too expensive, but some tenants may even pay more for the added security.

Safety tip #5: Add external lighting

No burglar wants a spotlight exposing their crime. Fortunately, you can use motion-sensing lights to deter intruders from invading your property. As a precautionary measure, install this security lighting near the main entrances of your home.

You shouldn’t need more than a couple motion-sensing lights because most of them can detect movement up to dozens of feet away in every direction. Some of them are even solar powered so you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries or using electricity.

Renting your property can be a good investment, but you need to keep that investment—and your renters—safe. To avoid security issues and ensure that you will benefit from your rental property for years to come, it's very important to keep it safe and well maintained.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

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