Tips to Keep Your Home (and Investment) Safe

Owning a rental property is one of the biggest investments you can make. If you manage and take care of your rental property carefully, it can generate generous income for you. It’s for this reason that you should take care of your investment home and ensure that it’s always safe and secure.

To safeguard your investment property properly, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

1. Know How Safe the Area Is

In general, before you buy an investment property, it’s imperative to check the safety of the area first. Investors and homebuyers are recommended to verify the crime rate in the location and check the physical condition of the area to ensure that it is safe for residents.

It’s important to conduct thorough research on the location before deciding to buy an investment property in the area as this could have an impact on your long-term returns.

2. Perform Regular Inspection and Maintenance

If you own a rental property, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it remains in its best condition. As a rental property owner, you are required by law to provide a habitable dwelling for your tenants.

That is why it’s recommended to conduct regular property inspections and perform routine maintenance checks to ensure that the property is safe.

a hammer, measuring tape, screwdriver and wrench on a workbench

Regular inspections also help you see potential issues early on. Addressing small problems as soon as possible means that you won’t risk waiting for them to become bigger and more serious. Remember, bigger problems mean more expensive solutions. So it’s best to address issues while they are still small and not too costly to fix.

3. Invest in a Good and Reliable Security System

A security system is a worthwhile investment. It can help keep your property safe and secure at all times. Make sure to include security cameras in all possible entrances and other inconspicuous areas in your property to prevent intruders and burglars from entering the house.

Security systems can also help make your rental home more appealing to prospective renters. Moreover, they can increase the value of your rental property and you can reasonably increase your rental rates just by having one at your rental unit.

4. Install Sufficient Outdoor Lighting

Did you know that outdoor lighting fixtures can help prevent accidents during the night and can also deter potential intruders? Motion-activated outdoor lighting fixtures are the best type of external lighting. They will automatically light up when motion is detected, which is a great way to deter trespassers.

5. Screen Tenants Carefully

Before you let anyone reside in your rental property, make sure to get to know them well and verify their background carefully. A proper tenant screening is essential to ensure that you’re only accepting qualified individuals to live in your rental unit.

property owner holdings a file and shaking hands with two tenants

If you fail to screen tenants thoroughly, you risk accepting potentially irresponsible tenants. Problematic tenants are those who do not take care of your property, or worse, cause harm or damage to your property deliberately due to their negligence or abusive behavior.

Qualified tenants, on the other hand, are those who can pay their rent on time, follow the rules and conditions stipulated under the rental agreement, and perform their duties responsibly when it comes to maintaining the upkeep of the property.

6. Perform Move-in and Move-out Inspections

Every time a tenant moves into the rental home, make sure to note the condition of the property through corresponding pictures and detailed descriptions.

This allows you to keep track of the property’s state at the beginning of the tenancy so you can check whether or not the property remains the same after the lease term ends.

When the tenant moves out, compare the move-in checklist with the current state of the property after the tenancy. This allows you to identify which damages are considered part of normal wear and tear, and which aren’t. Those damages that are beyond normal wear and tear should be covered by the tenant.

7. Get Your Property Insured

Since this is your investment asset, you have to make sure that it has sufficient insurance coverage to help protect you against theft and other damages. Make sure to read the terms of the policy carefully and that you understand the coverage well.

person typing on a keyboard with a notebook next to them on their black desk

8. Maintain Good Relationships with Neighbors

Even if you are not the one residing in your rental unit, it’s still a good idea to get to know your neighbors and build a good rapport with them. Your neighbors can help keep an eye on your rental home, especially when it’s not yet occupied by tenants.

Neighbors can also, at times, help report bad tenants if they don’t uphold their responsibilities of taking care of the rental unit.

9. Work with a Professional Property Manager

Owning a rental property means you need to spend more time and energy taking care of it and managing your tenants. If this is something that you don’t want to do on your own, you have the option to hire a professional and experienced rental property manager who will do all your landlord duties on your behalf.

The rental property manager will help ensure that your property remains in its best condition by conducting regular inspections and maintenance. Property managers will also address repair issues as soon as possible to maintain the upkeep of your rental unit.

Moreover, property managers are experienced in marketing properties and screening tenants thoroughly so that only high-quality tenants are accepted into your rental home.

Bottom Line

Taking care of your rental property is crucial because this is your income-generating asset. Make sure to perform all the tips mentioned above, or simply hire a professional property manager so that everything is well taken care of.

Working with a reliable property manager means you don’t need to worry about anything because they are knowledgeable about how to keep your investment safe. Contact the team at Gifford Properties & Management today to learn about our property management services!

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Lashanda Barnes