One of the biggest concerns that absentee landlords have is how to secure a vacant property. And for good reason. Being hundreds of miles away from an expensive asset can be a little nerve-wracking.
Here’s the situation: Your tenants have moved out and now your property is vacant. A prime target for vandals and thieves, there are several things you can do to secure a vacant property without hiring a member of the X-Men to stand guard at your property. (But hey, that’s not a bad idea!)
- DO NOT Use “For Rent” Signs. This advertises to every passerby, including thieves, that nobody is home. For Rent signs are not a great way to market vacancies anyway so don’t worry about missing out on that perfect tenant.
- Maintain the Yard. Keep the lawn and hedges trimmed, weeded and watered. Dead grass and an overgrown lawn are signs that a property may be vacant. As a bonus, the neighbors will be thankful.
- Put Lights on a Timer. Put porch lights on a timer and place a couple of lamps in the home on timers to give the appearance that someone is home. Motion sensor lights are also a good deterrent.
- Blinds. Keep the blinds closed. Period. If you were a burglar would you want to break into a house blind? That’s what I thought.
- Security System. Or ‘Security System Signs’, I should say. If you don’t want to pay for an actual security system, putting security company stickers on your windows or in the yard is the next best thing.
- Screen interested callers. Be cautious when giving information over the phone. If John Doe sounds sketchy and asks unusual questions about the property tell him that it is already rented and thank him for his call. It could be someone trying to find out information about the property, and just how far away you are.