If you have empty nest syndrome and decide to rent out rooms, either to make some extra cash or you have a holiday home to let, there are a few things you need to consider to protect yourself and your property.
- Check out your insurance policy
If you are going to have other people staying in your home, then you need to ensure you have the correct insurance policy in place in case of accidental damage or theft. If you are hosting other people, ensure your policy covers you for this. If you don’t have one, arrange to take out additional cover. There are separate policies for landlords and for tenants, it depends on how long you are planning to rent. If it’s for long term, then ask the renters to provide their own insurance, and ask to see proof of this. If you are only going to be renting short term using Airbnb, then it is worth speaking to your insurers to see if you can increase the insurance coverage when you have renters in your home.
- Consider who is a keyholder
If there are going to be people outside the family who need access to your home, think about how you are going to manage access and egress to the building. Handing out spare keys is a thing of the past because you can minimise the risk of them being lost or duplicated by investing in smart locks with keycode entry. This is one of the most important changes you need to make to your home security system.
Smart locks can be set to different codes whenever you have someone else coming into the home. It will enable you and the family to have your own keycode entry number, but keep a different one for renters and short-term guests. This will allow you to know who has been coming in and out of the building as well, and you can change the code for the next set of visitors. There are a number of different types of smart locks available and a professional home security firm with be able to give you information on the best one to use to suit your needs.
- Install security cameras
Even if you are not staying on the property when it is being rented, you can still keep an eye on the external surroundings. It is important to communicate to everyone who is staying short term or renting the property on a longer-term basis, that there are outdoor security cameras which are there for their safety as well. Cameras and sensors that turn on outside lights, give peace of mind to you, and those renting.
Lights that turn on over the front door or garage make it easier and safer for people who do not know the property well, to navigate their way to the front door without trips or falls. Sensors that turn on lights, or external CCTV around the side and back of the property will ensure that any unwelcome intruders are spotted, and alerts can be sent to smartphones, so you can deal with this situation without worrying your guests.
- Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. Carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted in the home regardless of whether you are renting or Airbnb hosting. The same goes for smoke alarms. A number of homes these days are fitted out with standard smoke detectors and CO detectors, but you should ensure that you check these on a regular basis, and in particular before you have guests coming to stay. There are several different types of alarms and sensors with some that combine both smoke and CO detection. Other smart sensors can also send you alerts if you have set up the system with a Wi-Fi network. It not only save lives, but if you have stipulated no smoking in the property, it can stop cigarette burns on furniture and carpets from a careless tenant.
- Fire extinguishers and fire blankets
As well as being able to detect a fire in the early stages, you should also equip the home with fire extinguishers. These should be in accessible areas along with simple instructions on how to use them. Having a tenant information pack, or guest info sheet with details of nearest pharmacists, doctors etc is always a good idea and you can combine this with safety and security details regarding the property.
Fire extinguishers should be located in the kitchen and utility room, in the garage and if you have more than one storey, then upstairs in a communal corridor. Fire blankets can be kept in the kitchen and in the garage as long as they are within easy reach. Don’t forget to check your fire extinguishers on a regular basis, getting rid of disposable ones once used.
- Remember network security
Home security also includes keeping an eye on your network security as well, which is particularly important today with the number of cyber attacks taking place globally. If you allow access for guests or renters to your Wi Fi and you have set a limit for how many people are staying in the home if you are Airbnb hosts, then you can use network security devices that allow you to detect the presence of people within the home. You will be able to detect how many phones are connected to your Wi-Fi and see all Wi Fi enabled devices even if not connected to your network if they are within the proximity of your security device.
There are a number of smart ways in which to protect your home when renting or Airbnb, so make sure you follow the above 6 tips to ensure both you and your guests continue to enjoy a safe and secure home environment. Contact the experts of home security at Home Safety Store today. They will be able to provide you with the appropriate home safety products to keep your property safe.