Failing to secure a rental property puts you and your renters at risk. Rental properties are more vulnerable to property crime than owner-occupied homes. Not only do property owners have to bear the costs of property damage, but when a property is frequently the target of crime, it becomes harder to attract tenants and charge profitable rents.

If you own a traditional rental or vacation rental property, home security needs to be a top priority. Here’s how you can secure your rental property against property crime.

The Role of Active Management

No amount of home security can compensate for an absentee landlord. When a property isn’t actively managed, it’s more likely to be targeted by criminals who view poorly maintained properties as easy targets.

Poor management also increases the likelihood that locks, lights, and other important security measures fail undetected. Without regular visits to the home, you might be unaware your property is at risk.

If your rental property isn’t local or you simply lack the time to be an involved landlord, hire a property manager to watch over the property on your behalf. A property manager in the Miami area can make sure your home is professionally cleaned before guests arrive and offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can also offer convenient booking online; all a potential tenant needs to do is filter by number of guests and the dates they wish to stay. A property management agency can perform routine inspections, respond to suspicious activity complaints, and screen tenants so you can trust your renters aren’t the source of security concerns.

Deterring Crime with Property Design

Even a property manager can’t be on-site at all times. However, there are other strategies landlords can use to deter crime.

Landscaping is one underappreciated crime-deterrent strategy. Overgrown landscaping and tall privacy fences give home intruders places to hide while they gain entry. Tidy, low landscaping, on the other hand, maintains clear lines of sight around the property, dissuading burglars who prefer to work under cover. If installing a fence, choose metal or wire mesh fencing that’s easy to see through.

Landscaping doesn’t solve the problem of crime after dark. Landlords should install motion-activated lights near entrances and additional landscape lighting around the property to improve nighttime security.

Doors and windows have an impact, too. All entrances should feature solid doors with deadbolts and peepholes. Avoid doors with glass panels, as glass may be broken to gain entry. Windows on all floors should have working locks, and first-floor windows should be tinted so burglars can’t case the home for valuables. In high-crime areas, owners may choose to install security bars on first floor windows; however, landlords should weigh the impact on curb appeal and fire safety before opting for security bars.

Rental Property Security Solutions

Despite these prevention strategies, some persistent criminals still try their luck. That’s where a home security system comes into play. Not only does the mere presence of a security system deter criminals, it also ensures a quick response if burglars do gain entry.

Landlords who are hesitant to pay for a monitored alarm system can install a DIY security system that comes with optional monitoring and let tenants decide whether they want to pay for the service. Remember that while security cameras can be installed in outdoor areas, they’re not permitted indoors for privacy reasons.

A smart keypad lock is another wise addition to rental property security, especially short-term rentals where rekeying locks between each tenant is impractical. A keypad lock also makes it possible to issue single-use codes to maintenance workers, offering convenience and peace of mind to tenants.

Ultimately, there’s not one solution to rental property security. The best approach combines design, management, and technology to create a home that’s safe for renters and trouble-free for you. While it might require more work up front to get these security measures in place, you’ll be glad you made the investment.