The holidays are coming up soon and you probably have a lot on your pre-holiday checklist: planning vacations, buying presents for your family and friends, decorating a Christmas tree. And that's just a small sample of all the tasks you'll need to accomplish.
But there's one more important thing you should consider doing- securing your rental. Winter holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, not only for you but for would-be criminals as well. Make sure you've protected your rental properties and taken precautionary actions to prevent burglaries during the holidays.
Create a sense of security
As a landlord, you're responsible for keeping your rentals secure and ensuring that your tenants are safe. But tenants should also be careful during the winter holidays. Encourage them to hide valuables while they are away and to have packages delivered to a secure location, like their workplace or a post office box. In many instances, packages left on the house porch can attract potential burglars.
According to statistics, most burglaries occur daylight hours...which is pretty surprising. To increase the security level of your rental properties, get to know your neighbors. Once you get to know them, you can ask them to look after the property and contact you if they happen to notice any suspicious activity around your rental.
Related: Landlord Responsibility For Tenant Safety: Rental Inspection, Installing Smoke Detectors
Put up holiday decorations
Festive decorations create the illusion that there's someone at home even if the residents are celebrating on the other side of the globe. Make it look like your renters are having a non-stop Christmas party - the way Kevin McCallister did when trying to scare off the burglars.
Along with that, keep the property well-lit. If your tenants are going away for the holidays, put lights on a timer that can cycle through while they are away. Outdoor lights create a festive mood and illuminate the porch and driveway, which makes it harder for burglars to enter the building unnoticed.
Another thing you can do is ask your renters to refrain from posting about their travels on social media. While you obviously can't control a renter's personal life, let them know that potential intruders often look for vacancy signs by checking out social media accounts of their "targets" to learn the best time to get into the house.
By sharing less personal information, tenants could deter holiday season break-ins.
Install a home security system
When it comes to home security systems, the first thing that comes to mind is traditional door locks. Because the front door is a common entry point, install a solid core door and make sure you’ve changed all locks and entry keys after the previous tenants.
Also, make sure your rentals have high-quality windows a burglar cannot open from the outside.
It's also a good idea to install a wireless security camera and make it visible for anyone entering the house. The presence of security cameras is a good theft deterrent, and so are motion-sensitive lights.
To add extra security to your rental, consider installing a smart home system. It provides centralized control of lighting equipment, air conditioning, heating, kitchen appliances, etc. You can manage everything from your mobile device, no matter where you are.
Make sure you have insurance
Theft and break-ins during the holidays is a common thing. To protect your rental property, you may want to encourage your renters to get renters insurance (if they are not already required to have it).
Related: Do I Need Renters Insurance Or How It Can Protect Landlords
If your rental has been broken into, they can reach out to their insurance company and estimate the value of stolen items. Renters insurance protects your tenants' personal belongings and liability, as well as reimbursing the cost of damaged or stolen items, so you don't have to worry about replacement costs.
Related: How Landlords Should Deal with a Home Robbery
How do you secure your rental properties during winter holidays? Do you have any special recommendations? Share your advice by leaving comments below.
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