Your vacant rental property needs protection just like your primary home. Though you will not be located at your vacant rental home throughout the majority of the year, you can be proactive and take some steps to safeguard this important investment. Without further adieu, here is a look at how to protect a vacant rental property.
Create the Impression Someone is Living There
Do your best to make it appear as though someone is living at the rental home. Even if you spend most of the year far away from your rental property, you can hire someone to maintain the yard and landscaping. Do not let the grass grow tall or allow the mail to pile up in the mailbox. These are clear signs no one is living at the property. It is also a mistake to let the property’s exterior to become dilapidated. The failure to perform timely repairs will tip off potential burglars that no one is home or will be home for an extended period of time.
Do not simply leave your porch light or another exterior light on 24 hours a day assuming it will scare thieves away. Leaving a light on all day and night is a fire hazard and an obvious indication the property owner wants to create the impression someone is living at the house. Have lights installed that can be operated on timers to create the impression someone is actively living at the house. Motion sensor lights will also help illuminate nighttime threats along the exterior of the home. Even something as simple as leaving the upstairs curtains open can make it appear as though someone is living at the property.
Consider Vacancy Insurance Coverage
Take a close look at the property’s homeowner’s insurance policy. If you do not have coverage for your property while it is vacant, you stand to lose a considerable amount of money in the event of a natural disaster or burglary. In general, insurance providers usually give property owners a month or two to pinpoint another tenant before the primary coverage policy is canceled. Be sure to double check the details of the vacancy insurance coverage so you know exactly what it covers in terms of burglary, vandalism, damage stemming from natural disasters and so on.
Add a Home Security System
Though the installation of a home security system will certainly cost some money, it is well worth it. You can travel to the edges of the earth in full confidence, knowing your vacant rental property’s home security system is there to notify the authorities in the event of a burglary attempt. This is the peace of mind every property owner deserves. Even if you do not want to spend for a home security system, it will help to add signs around your property indicating it is protected by a security system to scare off would-be burglars.
Ask Trusted Neighbors for Assistance
If you trust the neighbors, consider asking them to keep an eye on your property while you are away. Find out if your neighbor is planning a vacation or trip during your time away from the property. If your vacations overlap, ask another trusted neighbor, relative, friend or other party to take a look at your property every couple days or so. Ideally, you will be able to tap into a neighborhood watch program that provides an entire network of trusted locals to keep a watchful eye on your vacant rental property.