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Keep Your Rental Property Safe From Theft With These Simple Tips

You’re right to think that every property is vulnerable to theft. It's better to be safe than sorry, don't you agree? Theft can happen to any landlord and when it does, you could be held liable especially if you failed to implement basic safety measures to prevent criminal activity. 

Right from the start, avoid trouble by safeguarding your rental. One thing you can do to stop a thief is to think like a thief. Consider how a thief would break in and base your security plan on possibilities.  

Not only will a secured property give you peace of mind, but it will also attract good tenants. Follow these tips to prevent theft: 

Eliminate hiding places in the property

A thief will spy and hide in places that are dark and shady. Thieves like such areas because they can't be seen while they're trying to figure out how to break the rental home. Examples of these areas are the spaces behind shrubs. While it isn't wrong to have some green in the surroundings, it can benefit a thief at the same time. Keep shrubs and bushes well-trimmed. Cut them below window height. 

Install lighting outside the unit 

Since thieves take advantage of the darkness to operate, install outdoor lighting to brighten up dark places. Choose lighting that's not too dim and not too bright. For your front lawn, you can install street lamps and multiple lawn lamps to leave zero hiding places for crime and suspicious activity. Lamps don't just prevent break-ins, but they also add boost the exterior appeal of the rental.  

Install security systems 

The more valuables you have, the greater the reason for thieves to break in. So even with outdoor lighting in place, a thief will always find a way to operate undetected. But that doesn't mean you can't add another layer of security and make a thief’s job harder!

Door and window alarms should be at the top of the list. If you install the alarms in such a way that can't be seen, the thief or a burglar will spend more time trying to figure out where the alarms are and disable them. And the more time they spend doing this, the higher your chances to catch them red-handed.

Most of the time, a thief will just quit and find another target -- a rental with less security. 

Allow pets in the property, especially dogs

Man's best friend can even be man’s best security. Dogs are very sensitive to a stranger's noise and smell and will react right away by barking. So, if those lighting and alarm systems still aren't enough, make thieving or burglary more difficult by allowing dogs in your rental. On top of increase security, you're also attracting a wider pool of tenants -- millennials and dog lovers in general. 

Read: Renting to Tenants with Pets: Tips to Follow

Document and report suspicious behavior 

You shouldn't be the only one who needs to be vigilant about safety. Make all tenants aware and let them participate. You can ask them to note and report suspicious activities around the rental. 

Also, place emergency hotline numbers near telephones. Doing so will facilitate a quick response during a theft or burglary even when you're not around. At the same time, you’re helping your community to be a safer place for everyone.  


Theft can be avoided if both the landlord and tenant are vigilant. Thieves will not break into a property when they feel that they are expected. Anticipate theft at all times and implement the security tips we discussed today. I hope this guide helps!

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!