How to Make Your Vacation Rental Safe and Secure

Thinking about renting your home for a few weeks this summer while you’re gone? Got a house you want to list as a vacation rental on Airbnb?  While you want the property to appeal to renters willing to pay your per night fee, you also need to protect the property to keep up its value while also minimizing headaches. Whether your property is fully rented or sits empty at times, use these tips to make your vacation rental safe and secure.

Maintain A Lived In Look

If your vacation rental sits empty between guests, make sure it looks lived in so thieves don’t get ideas.  Put lamps on timers. Make sure the lawn is mowed and landscaping looks maintained. Remove snow from sidewalks and garage pads.

Get an Alarm System

A home alarm system protects your vacation rental while also appealing to guests who want their personal property protected. We recommend adding carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to your alarm system. Add video cameras pointed at the entrances and the garage or driveway. Then tie it altogether with a smartphone app, such as Honeywell Total Connect, so you can see what’s going on from your phone while also monitoring appliances, HVAC and any sensors.  Get more ideas on our blog post, Use a Smartphone App to Manage Your Security System at Home.

Add Lights and Signage

Add lighting in strategic places, both for your renters’ safety and to discourage thieves. Install lights around walkways. Use motion sensors in front of the garage and in dark areas, such as on the sides of your home in areas where landscaping blocks views. Install signs along the driveway and near the front door indicating an alarm system has been installed and video surveillance is being used to monitor the property.  

Install Fire Extinguishers

Kitchen fires are one of the leading causes of house fires. Install an easily spotted fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well as near fireplaces and woodstoves. Learn all about fire extinguishers in our blog post, Fire Extinguisher Guide: Selecting, Locating, Inspecting Fire Extinguishers

Use Smart Locks

You may want to keep some areas of your home off limits to guests. Install smart locks you can lock or unlock with your smartphone to keep these areas safe.  Smart locks can also alert you to the fact that someone tried to enter a restricted area.

Access Control

Create temporary access codes to your rental each time a new set of guests arrives for a stay.  You can also keep track of when guests enter the home, giving you an idea when they arrived and when they’ve left on departure day so you can change the access code for security reasons.  If you hire a cleaning crew to prep for the next batch of guests, access control gives you a way to let in the crew and to arm the alarm once they finish.