If you own an investment home, you have to make sure it’s safe and secured at all times. After all, you spent your hard-earned money to build that investment, so you have to safeguard it effectively.
Here are a few helpful ways to keep your home (and investment) safe and secure:
1. Know the Safety Index and Crime Rate in Your Location
Before you have chosen a location for your rental property, you should ensure that the neighborhood you are investing in is generally safe. A safe neighborhood is one with a low crime rate and high safety index. It’s important to choose a safe location to give you and your tenants peace of mind.
2. Follow Local Health and Safety Codes
Before you can rent out your rental property, you should be aware of the local laws surrounding health and safety codes. Make sure to strictly abide by these rules to prevent getting into trouble later on.
For example, there are rules about the maximum number of occupants per unit. There are also rules about the proper architectural design of the property. These rules are put in place for a reason—to ensure your home’s and tenants’ safety.
3. Invest in a Security System
While a smart security system is ideal, not all landlords can afford it. If you can’t afford to buy one, make sure to at least invest in a security system that can be trusted. Consider installing a security camera near the front door and an alarm system.
4. Make Sure Doors and Windows Are Secure
It’s also crucial to check the safety of your doors and windows. It’s best to invest in safe doors that are made of sturdy material that will not be easily broken through. Make sure all the locks on the doors and windows work. It might also be a good idea to consider removing trees right next to windows that may provide easy access to intruders.
5. Invest in Outdoor Lighting
External lighting is useful because it can illuminate the path to your home, making it easy for you to find your way when it’s dark. Another purpose of outdoor lights is to discourage any potential intruders.
It’s best to choose motion sensor lights near your front porch. This type of light helps your tenants feel safe. In addition, they can help save electricity because there’s no need to keep them turned on all the time.
6. Screen Your Tenants Extensively
Tenants are your rental business’ bread and butter. However, while you want to get the occupancy rate of your rental home high, you should never settle for less when it comes to accepting tenants. As much as possible, have a strict tenant screening process in place to ensure that only high-quality tenants are allowed to live in your rental property.
If you end up with problematic tenants, they might deliberately neglect or damage your property. This can cause a lot of headaches on your part especially because repairs can be too costly. To avoid this, make sure to be selective when choosing tenants and only accept those who are highly qualified.
7. Create Comprehensive Lists of Your Expectations
Once you have chosen tenants to stay on your property, don’t forget to create thorough lists that outline the house rules, as well as the dos and don’ts that you expect your tenants to follow. You have responsibilities as the landlord but the tenants also have certain responsibilities to the property.
It’s also best to take pictures of the property before the tenants move in so you’ll have proper documentation of the condition of the property. This way, you can see the differences between normal wear and tear and serious damage.
8. Conduct Routine Inspections and Regular Maintenance
To maintain the upkeep of your rental home, it’s essential to schedule routine inspections so you can identify any potential damage before it becomes a serious problem. Being able to identify small issues through regular maintenance allows you to resolve them quickly, preventing the damage from getting bigger.
Keep in mind that hiring competent and reliable contractors to make any necessary repairs on your property is a must. You don’t want the repairs made to be superficial as this can create more problems later on.
9. Get Your Property Insured
Your rental home is one of your biggest assets, so you should make sure that you get sufficient coverage to protect your investment. Insurance acts as a safety blanket so that if something unfortunate happens to your property, you’ll be covered for some or all of the damages. You can also ask that tenants get renter’s insurance for extra security.
Find insurance that covers every type of damage and destruction to your rental home. Do not forget to get sufficient protection against certain environmental emergencies too, like fires, floods, earthquakes, and any circumstances that can damage the property. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important.
10. Be on Good Terms with Your Neighbors
If your investment home has neighboring properties, make sure to get to know the people who live in those houses and build a good rapport with them. Being on good terms with the neighbors can be advantageous for both you (the property owner) and your tenants. For instance, if your property is vacant, your neighbors can help keep an eye on your rental unit while you are away.
11. Work with a Property Manager
Rental property owners who don’t have the time to keep up with the security of their rental property should consider hiring a professional rental property manager. Property managers know how to maintain the upkeep of a rental home, screen tenants, perform regular maintenance, and comply with building codes.
Property managers always come in handy when it comes to handling repair issues and maintaining the security of a rental home. Landlords who work with an experienced property manager often sleep well and in peace at night because they don’t have to worry about the safety of their investment homes anymore. This is especially important if you are an out of state landlord.
Do you own a rental property home in the Dallas area? Reach out to SGI Property management Dallas at 972-746-4557 for any property management needs and we’ll be happy to assist you.