Owning a vacation rental is nice, but it doesn't come without responsibility. One is making sure the place is safe and sound when you--or anyone else--can't physically be there.
Rest assured there are a number of measures you can take to make sure your vacation rental is safe when it's not being used.
Follow These 7 Tips To Keep Your Vacation Rental Safe
1. Keep Alarms Up to Date
It's no secret that fire alarms can be lifesavers (and home savers), but they don't do any good if they're not in proper working order. That said, it's not easy to predict when a fire alarm's battery needs changing.
With that the case, one option is hiring someone you trust to change the batteries for you to make sure they'll be in working order. This will also prevent the alarms from going into their low-battery beeping mode, which could potentially annoy those paying to stay in your vacation rental.
2. Remember the Plumbing
This tip is particularly useful if your vacation home happens to be in a location where the temperature can dip below freezing. If that's the case, you may already know the nightmare that frozen pipes can be.
There are a number of steps you can take to make sure your pipes don't freeze and burst, but one of the simplest is to remember to disconnect and drain your garden hose before the cold weather hits.
If not, water leftover inside the hose can freeze. When the water expands into ice it increases the pressure throughout the entire home's plumbing system. This can lead to freezing in other areas of the system, along with potentially burst pipes and water damage.
3. Maintain a Vibrant Look
There will be times when nobody is renting your vacation home and you can't happen to be there. But that doesn't mean everyone has to know the home is empty.
One of the keys to this is to give the home a lived-in look all year round. This can include things like hiring a yard and garden maintenance crew to keep the outside tidy all year long. Or making sure that any mail, magazines or newspapers are picked up a regular basis so they don't pile up.
It may not always be possible, but it's nice to have someone else in the neighborhood you trust--and who lives there throughout the year--to keep an eye on the home when it's known that nobody will be there.
4. Prepare Your Home for the Weather
Weather patterns vary across the country, of course, so it's key to know the possibilities of severe weather your vacation rental might be subjected to. For example, owners of coastal vacation rentals should keep in mind that at certain times of year it's much more likely the home will be pounded with some sort of severe rain or thunderstorm.
One way to minimize damage in this case is by installing storm-ready garage doors that can stand up to more inclement weather. Using a door with strong installation increases its chances of standing up to severe weather, in some cases even hurricane-strength winds. Check out these tips for winter-proofing your vacation rental if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and cold weather.
5. Use Smart Home Technology
These days there are myriad ways to keep an eye on your home when you're not there. All you really need to do is set up security cameras that you can view from anywhere using an internet connection.
Setting up security cameras on a rental property can be tricky, however. There is a fine line between making your guests feel secure and making them feel like you may be watching their every move.
Savvy vacation rental owners place cameras only in places where break-ins may occur, while avoiding placing them in areas that might be more intimate for guests, such as inside the home or near the swimming pool.
6. Invest in Your Front Door
One thing that can give vacation rental owners some peace of mind is knowing that the front door is always secure. This can be essential, considering the number of keys to the door you may hand out over the course of a year.
There are two things you may want to invest in to ease this burden, one being a smart lock. A smart lock for the front door can be controlled using a specific code rather than a key, and you can set the code to expire and reset when a particular guest's stay has ended.
You also may want to invest in a wireless video doorbell, which allows you to monitor and answer the front door even if you're not physically in the home.
7. Keep a Low Profile Online
Sure, you may want to advertise your vacation home online on sites such as Facebook or Craigslist, but this can also come back to haunt you. Some burglars use social media statuses to target victims, meaning announcing to the online world that your rental will be empty for the next three weeks could increase the risk of being robbed.
Owning a vacation rental can be plenty of work, but following these seven tips can help provide a sense of security even when you can't be on location.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can follow her @kacey_mya on Twitter and @thedriftercollective on Instagram.