Being a good landlord doesn't just mean being prepared to keep up with repairs; it also includes taking proactive steps to protect yourself, your tenants, and the house itself.
Here we'll present some top tips on doing this - from carrying out thorough tenant referencing checks before they move into installing security cameras that can act as an effective visual deterrent against burglars or vandals.
Secure Entry Points
Secure entry points to your home are a must-have for any homeowner. They protect you from intruders and other risks, as well as help protect your home during power outages or while you're on vacation. Here are some tips to ensure that all of your entry points remain safe and secure:
Invest in quality locks. Invest in a high-quality lock for each entry point, such as deadbolts or keyless entry systems. They are more challenging to break and can provide an added layer of security that is well worth the investment.
Change your locks regularly. Consider changing your locks every few years or after any changes in occupancy. This will help ensure that only you and those who should have access can get in.
Install security cameras. Security cameras are a great way to monitor your home and provide peace of mind, especially when you're away from home for extended periods. You can also secure additional protection by installing motion sensors, floodlights, and alarms.
Use window locks. Make sure to secure all windows with quality locks, especially those located on the lower levels of your home, which are more accessible to burglars.
Keep Up with Regular Maintenance and Inspections
Maintain your home to ensure that it is safe and in good condition for you and your tenants. Regularly check for signs of water damage, such as mold or mildew, and any structural issues, like cracks in walls or ceilings.
Inspect the roof periodically to look for loose shingles or other damage caused by weather conditions. Be sure to clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent water from pooling near your foundation.
It is also essential to regularly inspect any appliances, such as your stove or furnace, and replace worn-out parts that could cause a fire. Install smoke detectors on all home levels, and ensure they are regularly tested and maintained for maximum protection.
Check The Tenant's Background
It's essential to make sure your tenant is reliable and trustworthy. You can do this by conducting a background check.
Look Up Their Credit Report
A credit report will show you the tenant's credit history, which can indicate their financial responsibility.
Ask for References
Speak with the tenant's employer, landlord, or previous roommates to better understand their character.
Verify Their Identity
Ask for proof of identity and ensure it matches the tenant's information.
Establish Clear Rules and Expectations for Tenants
Setting up rules at the outset can help ensure everyone is on the same page about how to care for your property. This should include noise levels, pet policies, smoking restrictions, security protocols, and other regulations specific to your rental agreement.
Get The Right Insurance
This is one of the many things you should consider when owning a rental property. While you may think that your homeowner's insurance policy is sufficient to cover all of the bases, there are a few situations where specialized procedures can provide additional coverage.
For example, if you live in an area prone to flooding or earthquakes, it's essential to add these policies to your basic policy so that if catastrophic events occur, you can be sure you're covered.
Also, if you own valuable items such as jewelry or art, consider getting additional coverage to ensure those items are protected in case of theft or damage.
Invest in Smart Technology
Smart technology can help you keep your home secure on a budget. Smart security systems come with motion sensors, cameras, and other automated features to alert you when an intruder is present.
They can also be integrated with door locks and window sensors for added protection. Additionally, these systems are easy to install and maintain, making them an excellent investment for any homeowner.
Establish Good Relations with Neighbors
A good relationship is key to keeping your home and investment safe. Here are some tips on how to foster a positive relationship with them:
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Take time to introduce yourself when you move in or when someone new moves in next door. Be sure to exchange contact information so you can reach each other if needed.
Be Respectful of Their Home and Property
Respect the privacy and property of your neighbors. Keep noise levels down, and don't wander onto their property uninvited. Do not disturb them late at night or early in the morning unless it is an emergency.
Make Communication a Priority
Give your neighbors a warning if you are having a party or a gathering. This will show that you care about their peace. If there are any issues between you and your neighbor, talk through them before the situation escalates.
Keeping your home and investment safe requires a combination of common sense and proactive measures. One of the best ways to safeguard your investment is to hire professionals. Partnering with a property management company takes away your worries, because they take on the responsibility.
Here at Nelson Property Management, we take care of repairs, tenant screening, maintenance and much more, to ensure your investment is safe and secure. Further, we make sure your property is in a condition where it will succeed and offer you the highest ROI possible. Get in touch with us today and learn how we can serve you!