Renting Out Your House? Security for Renters 101
Renting Out Your House? Security for Renters 101

Renting out your property, especially in a desirable vacation destination, is almost always a solid investment. To maximize the value you receive from your investment property, it's essential to protect and maintain the space.

With the ease of websites and apps like Airbnb and Vrbo, both long and short-term rentals are increasingly popular among property owners.

The current housing market also affects the number of rentals. As the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, mortgages are less attainable than during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is turning potential home buyers into potential tenants, meaning that renting becomes ever more lucrative.

As with all investments, a certain amount of associated risk is involved in real estate investing. For rental property owners, one of the risks comes in the form of unpredictable guests. Even with today's vetting technology, you can never quite predict how people will interact with your property.

Real estate investors and property renters need to take security seriously. In today's post, we'll outline steps you can take to protect your property without sacrificing guests' privacy.

5 Tips for Rental Security

Securing and managing a rental property is complicated by elements of hospitality and legal hurdles. Guests tend to prefer private units when using services like Airbnb or Vrbo. While travelers expect a certain amount of surveillance in spaces like hotels, a rental home has different expectations.

Security measures are still an integral part of property management. These practices need to abide by federal and local laws while ensuring that your prospective tenants feel comfortable.

Discover 5 ways to help protect your rental property:

1. Create an Inaccessible Space

Many real estate investors are drawn to the market with the allure of passive rental income. In these cases, the move-in-ready space is largely set up for guests. The owner would likely never store valuable and personal items there.

On the other hand, some rental properties are also regularly used by the owner (typically seen in short-term rentals). In this type of rental, it's essential to protect belongings with monetary or sentimental value in an at-home safe.

In some cases, you can secure your at-home safe in a drawer with an option like the Biocube In-Drawer. Others prefer a recessed Wall Safe that someone could walk right by and be none the wiser.

If you cannot or do not wish to hide your safe, consider your safe's appearance. We believe that at-home safes should always combine form and function. With colors like Graphite Grey, Beige, Teal, and more, your at-home safe can integrate with your interior design plans.

2. Use and Disclose Security Cameras

The security camera question is especially tricky with property rentals. Under no circumstances can you place a camera within a space that your guest is using. It constitutes a serious violation of privacy, let alone Airbnb's terms and services.

However, exterior cameras are considered reasonable upgrades. Airbnb has partnered with home security companies like Vivint, August Home, and Brickhouse Safety to encourage hosts to install cameras.

These measures can go a long way in monitoring activity outside the home and around your most valuable items and deter break-ins. That said, be sure to disclose all cameras to guests ahead of time.

Video cameras aren't the only increased security measure worth implementing. At-home safes like the iCube connect to Mycube's secure cloud platform to send you tamper alerts when anyone attempts to open the safe.

With your smartphone, you can check the contents of your iCube from almost anywhere your travels might take you. You also have the ability to review the history of every access and lock attempt.

3. Store Valuables in a Secure Safe

When choosing a safe, you have a few options.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Who should be able to access this safe? Is it just the owner, or do multiple people need access?
  • Do you need the safe to be able to withstand flooding or fire?
  • Where will the safe go? Should it fit within a drawer or be placed on a shelf?
  • Do you want to be able to access the safe with your smartphone?

Mycube has safes that fit every need. For example, homeowners who need quick and customizable access to their at-home safe might prefer the Biocube.

Our Biocube uses biometric technology to protect the owner's valuables. Using the 4 to 6-digit code touchscreen, you can easily program your Biocube for fingerprint access with four simple steps.

The Biocube stores up to 10 fingerprints, which can be allocated to pertinent individuals. For instance, landlords might grant access to an individual at a property management company who might need access to rental agreements or other relevant paperwork.

Each Mycube safe runs on batteries, which should be replaced once every 12 to 14 months. However, if this slips your mind and the batteries die, each Mycube safe comes with a backup key, so you will never be without access. Homeowners should register their key to obtain a copy if the original is misplaced.
No matter the case, doing your research on safe companies is the most important task. Not all secure technology is made equal, and everyone has unique needs.

4. Install a Smart Doorbell or Electronic Lock

In addition to monitoring anyone who shouldn't be near the property, a smart doorbell also makes the check-in process more seamless.

The hand-off of keys can be a clunky experience that requires unnecessary effort on the host's part. By using a smart doorbell, you can ensure that the only people given access to your property are the ones you expect.

A smart camera can alert you to the presence of potential squatters. Eviction is often challenging, especially if the squatters perform upkeep or pay property taxes and other bills.

As you upgrade your interior, extend the same treatment to your external security. Lockboxes are generally flags to intruders that the property is a rental. To avoid this issue, replace lockboxes with electronic locks. Electronic locks allow you to remotely give guests access to the property with a code that you can easily change between visits.

5. Inform Your Insurance Company

Airbnb's insurance policy is limited. The company suggests that homeowners take out their own additional homeowner's insurance policies on their homes. Claims from the guest or the host can take months to process, and many are not successful.

You can reduce your risk of loss by insuring against that risk. Standard home insurance generally does not cover theft, so make sure to sit down and have a conversation with your insurance provider to select the policy that makes the most sense for your situation.

Last Thoughts on Rental Security

Inviting the world into your home carries inherent risk, but the benefits far outweigh the threat of damage, theft, or legal concerns with proper security. Modern technology offers us many ways to reduce those threats.

When considering how to store your valuable items safely, you can rely on Mycube, a family-owned safe company with over 100 years of experience. With this quiz, you can find the safe that best suits your situation, items, and space requirements.

Sources: How to Protect Your Vacation Home From Break-ins | US News Real estate is still the best investment you can make today, millionaires say-here's why | CNBC The Fed's rate hike will affect mortgages, hiring and stocks | The Washington Post Hidden cameras are forbidden in your vacation rental, but some exist anyway. Here's how to track them down | CNET