Whether it is a rental or an owner-occupied home, people want to feel safe. Renters are more likely to seek out properties in safe neighborhoods, near high-quality schools, where they can feel safe walking down the street, letting their children play in the front yard, and closing their eyes at night to get restful sleep. Landlords and rental property management Orlando companies are able to charge higher rent rates for properties located in safe neighborhoods because they are more desirable to tenants. Purchasing an investment rental property that is located in a safe neighborhood also benefits the buyer. This means you are less likely to experience crime like vandalism to the property, break-ins, burglaries, or damage to personal property. Most landlords know that they have an obligation to provide a safe and habitable living space for tenants, including making sure windows and doors lock and that the exterior of the property has good lighting. But it does not have to stop there. Landlords can also create and promote a safe neighborhood and community for all people living in the area.
Purchasing a Property in a Safe Neighborhood
Increase the amount of rent you can charge by purchasing a rental in a safe and secure neighborhood. Doing so will not only allow for higher rent rates, but it will also promote faster leasing times and longevity in tenants. Safe neighborhoods also tend to have relatively good school systems. It is important for rental property management Orlando teams and landlords to remember that even though a property is located in a good part of town, there is no guarantee that crime will not happen. SpotCrime is a valuable website that allows residents to see what is going on around them including thefts, burglaries, vandalism, arson, assaults, and more. Keep tabs on SpotCrime when seeking out a property in a specific neighborhood. Type in the address of the property in the National Sex Offender Public Registry. Prospective tenants are known to check the sex offender lists, especially when they have children who will be occupying the home. Talk to neighbors and locals to see which areas are already thought of as safe communities. The people who live in the neighborhood will know the most about day-to-day safety, simply because they live there. Once tenants have moved into the property, landlords and rental property management Orlando companies can ask their opinion after a few months of occupancy to get their take on the safety of the neighborhood and express their ideas for any improvements. Look at the quality of the neighborhood during the day and night. In the daylight, see that residents take care of their front yards, that children feel safe playing at nearby parks or riding bikes down the street, or that residents take their dogs for walks. Observe the area at night – see that it is well lit by city lights, that there are not slow driving vehicles casing a house, people loitering, or any other suspicious-looking activities.
Establishing Security Measures
You always think it will not happen to you until it does happen to you. You hear of burglaries, vandalism, robberies, and much more and assume that because you take precautions, that it will not happen to you. However, no matter the security measures taken, there is no guarantee that you will be protected or immune from being the victim of crimes forever. Here are a few precautions that rental property management Orlando teams, private landlords, and tenants can take to deter criminals:
- Alarm system: There are many affordable and easy to install options out on the market for security and alarm systems including SimpliSafe, ADT, and Vivint Smart Home. All of these systems come with features that include entry sensors, glass break sensors, movement sensors, panic buttons, camera monitoring, doorbells with video, and 24/7 monitoring options. If a landlord or Orlando rental property management chooses to install a security system, change the code on the system after each tenant vacates the property to ensure proper safety and security for the next tenant.
- Locks and Codes: Landlords and property managers should inspect all window and door locks during the turnover process between occupancies. Conduct biannual property inspections to make certain that all doors and windows continue to close and lock correctly. Doing so will limit your liability as a landlord if a break-in occurs. Rental property management Orlando companies should change garage door keypad codes and all door locks during the turnover process. Even if a past tenant has returned all of the keys that were issued to him during the lease signing process, there is no guarantee that he did not make additional copies for friends, relatives, or other occupants.
- Window blinds: Installing window blinds provides security for tenants. Have you ever driven by a property in the dark while a resident had his interior lights on and window blinds open? Did you notice that you can nearly see the entire layout of the house? Not to mention all of the personal belongings inside? A house without window coverings might as well be a fishbowl. In addition, if the lights are off one evening, it could be a clear sign to burglars that no one is home. A perfect invitation. Window coverings do not have to be expensive. There are many levels and types of window blinds and shades that can meet all budgets for rental property management in Orlando.
- Exterior Lighting: A well-lit exterior of a house will help deter burglars because if the front porch light is on or if the front landscaping is shining lights on them, neighbors and passersby will easily spot that something does not look right. Install motion sensor exterior lights. Put timers on these lights so that they turn on even if no one is home or if the tenant goes on vacation. This includes Christmas and holiday lights, as Orlando rental property management teams know that it is a popular time for burglaries. Criminals know that people travel to see family and friends during the holidays. Criminals also know that people have valuable presents inside their homes during this time of year.
- No Addresses on Keys: Although it seems convenient and like an easy way to track the keys to properties, especially if investors have multiple properties, refrain from engraving or writing house numbers or the full address on the actual key. Rental property management Orlando experts know that if a key is lost and gets into the hands of the wrong person, a criminal can easily determine the address by using online resources like Google Maps. These resources can be very helpful in getting people from place to place on a daily basis, but it can also be abused – by simply typing in a house number, Google Maps will automatically try to guess the address based on the location where the key was recovered.
You may have noticed signs in neighborhoods while shopping for rental properties or driving through communities that alert passersby that it is under Neighborhood Watch. This signifies that the neighbors are working together to stop crime in the neighborhood and community. Rental property management Orlando teams know that starting a neighborhood watch program is an affordable and efficient way to deter crime. The Orlando Police Department trains members of communities who are interested and eligible to start a Neighborhood Watch program. The City of Orlando Public Safety website gives residents ideas on how they can gauge the community’s interest. The City requires that at least 40 percent of the community be involved in the Neighborhood Watch program in order to qualify for training. It is wise to get members who are often home during the day that can be window watchers and observe if anything is out of the ordinary, including people walking around the neighborhood that they do not recognize, unrecognizable vehicles, people casing houses, people peeking through windows, and knocking on doors to determine if someone is home or away.
Keep the Property Well Maintained
There are many reasons that a landlord or rental property management Orlando company should keep a property well maintained. For starters, it provides curb-appeal and lets the tenant know that you care about the property and about them. In return, tenants will take better care of a property if they see that you do too. A property that has a clean and manicured landscape will prevent maintenance issues. It will fail to provide coverage for criminals trying to break in through the front door, back door, or window. Overgrown tree branches not only pose a threat to the property and tenants during storms as they can be knocked over and land on the house, but they can also provide a nice and accessible bridge to a second-story window for burglars. Remove any items that would provide coverage for stalkers or criminals to hide behind.
Why Investors Need Rental Property Management Orlando Experts at Specialized Property Management Orlando
The experts at Specialized Property Management Orlando know that caring for tenants and properties is a full-time job that requires constant assistance and expertise. SPM has the most comprehensive property management services in Orlando with decades of experience. Put your trust in us. Call us today at (407) 682-3355.