Holiday Preparedness: Tips for Stepping up the Security of Your Rental Property

Don’t get caught behind the eight ball this holiday season and not have the security systems of your rental properties updated, serviced and tested when the tenant crowd shows up. Every year safety and crime prevention grow more ominous as the No. 1 concerns of tenants, and for good reason. Renters are up to 85% more likely to be robbed than homeowners, as charted in a U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics bulletin. In addition, houses without electronic security systems are three times more likely to be burgled than houses with systems.

Free or Really Cheap Things You Can Do to Upgrade Security

  • Contact your local police or sheriff and ask about any crime prevention workshops or seminars they might have. If they don’t have any scheduled classes, ask if they would be willing to give a presentation to your neighborhood watch group or local owner/rental association.
  • Make “window blockers” out of scrap pieces of lumber. Saw 2-by-2-inch furring strips into lengths of 5 or 6 inches shorter than the distance between the top of your window and the top of the sash. Then glue, nail or screw the strip into the side of the sash, thereby limiting window openings so they’re too narrow for a burglar to enter. You can do the same thing on sliding patio-type doors, except you don’t have to fasten them permanently; the tenant simply lays it in the bottom track.
  • This won’t prevent crimes, but it’s a valuable perk to offer prospects: Provide free renters insurance. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s partner TrustedChoice.com—a one-stop shop for online insurance shopping—notes that the average premium for $30,000 coverage is only $15 per month. You might offer it free to short-term renters and at your cost to year-round tenants.

The Ultimate Solution for Burglary Protection

You can never hope to eliminate the chance of a burglary 100 percent, and the tips listed above, along with dozens more at the FBI and the Department of Justice sites, will certainly reduce the probability of a crime; however, the single most effective defense against burglary is an electronic security system. Deciding which package is right for you takes research but a good place to start is LifeShield.com, a leading authority and provider of security services.

Nowadays there are so many brands of security systems, it’s hard to distinguish one from another. When you shop for the best security systems, make sure they feature “system-based redundancy,” a fairly new technology that thwarts a burglar’s attempt to disconnect the system. It does this by passing the signal on to another component, so the alarm call still goes out.

Further, with “multi-layered redundancy,” if the culprit disconnects the console, the alert is passed down the line to the next component and if the first component fails, for any reason, the break-in signal is instantly passed down to the next, and so on.

Your renters will appreciate, above all else, your concern for their safety by investing in a system.