How to Keep Your Rental Property Safe for You and Your Tenants - Article Banner

Safety first. 

It’s a phrase you hear all the time, and it applies to your rental property in unique ways. You want to keep your rental property safe for your tenants, and you also want to keep it safe from deterioration, damage, and risk

If you’re wondering how to do this, we have some ideas.

Re-Key your Property During Turnovers 

Change the locks on your doors every time a new tenant is preparing to move in. This protects them and it protects your property. You’ll collect keys from departing tenants, but you never know how many copies were made. 

Get new keys or install smart locks or a digital keypad, which allows you to change the combination between tenants. You want to limit who has access to the property. Only you and your tenants should have the keys or access codes.

Securing Doors and Windows 

Are your doors and windows as secure as they should be? Check the locks and make sure that the doors and windows open and close easily. Install deadbolts on exterior doors as well as peepholes so tenants can see who is outside before they open the door. 

Video doorbells have become extremely popular, and you may want to consider installing them. Even if you don’t equip your property with this technology, always be willing to let your tenants take control of their own security by installing a video doorbell at your property. They can check who is at their front door through an app, even when they’re not at home. This can be a benefit for you too, especially during vacancy periods. You’ll always have access to the front door when a video doorbell is installed. 

Make Sure the Lighting is Adequate

A well-lit home is rarely victimized by thieves, burglars, and criminals. You’ll want a bright light at the front of the property, at the entrance. There should also be enough lighting on any walkways or paths from the parking area to the property. 

If you have parking areas, communal areas, or outbuildings, make sure they are well-lit. Consider motion lights, which will alert tenants that someone may be near the property. 

Have an Emergency Plan

Put together an emergency plan and share it with your tenants. This should include relevant phone numbers for local police and fire departments as well as poison control, hospitals, and other service providers. Your tenants need to know what to do if there’s a fire, flood, or a severe weather event that impacts the home

Keep Vacant Properties Safe 

Vacant Rental PropertyVacant rental properties are especially vulnerable to safety issues. There’s no one in the home to report maintenance issues or repair needs, which means a small leak that’s undetected can quickly turn into a major plumbing issue. 

There’s also the problem of opportunity. Criminals will see an empty property as an opportunity. Vacant homes could have their appliances stolen. They could become a haven for squatters. You might find vandalism or damage due to people breaking in. 

Install security cameras or alarm systems. Conduct inspections every few days to ensure everything is in order. Talk to the neighbors and ask them to report any suspicious activity they may notice. 

Safety is an important part of renting your property out to tenants. You’ll do a better job of attracting and retaining residents when they feel safe and secure in their home. 

If you’d like us to take a look at your property and make some recommendations for better safety, please contact us at Real Estate Gladiators. We serve owners and investors in Monroe, Issaquah, Bellevue, Everett, Lake Stevens, Kirkland and other cities in and around King and Snohomish counties in Washington State.