Do you own a rental property in the Treasure Valley in Idaho?
The overall vacancy rate between Ada & Canyon counties is at an all-time low of 1.67%! Although the vacancy rate is historically low, your rental property will become vacant at one point or another.
However, you may not have considered that a vacant home is a desirable target for thieves, crime, and vandalism. Empty homes are the easiest to break into without anyone noticing. Property damage from a break-in will likely be costly. Stolen plumbing, appliances, broken windows, and property damage can eat away your property’s profitability quickly. It will also take time to repair the damage so that it is livable again. There are several vital steps that you can take to ensure that your investment is protected and able to be rented as soon as possible.
Protecting Your Vacant Rental
1. Create The Appearance Of Activity
- Increase Lighting- Keeping a vacant property well-lit is a considerable deterrent for those lurking. Installing motion-activated exterior lights on the front and back of the property is a great start. Further, having timed lights on the interior and exterior of the home will create the illusion that there is a resident in the home. If lights are kept on 24-7, it can quickly become evident to a criminal that there is no movement at the home.
- Window Coverings- If you haven’t already invested in blinds or curtains, a vacancy is a perfect time to have those installed. Anyone can visit a property and look in a window; if it is apparent that the property is empty, this is an open invitation to crime. Covered windows can create the illusion that someone is home.
- Maintain Landscaping- Overgrown and unkempt landscaping is the first sign that no one is living at a property. If your home is vacant and between tenants, landscaping will be a top priority to increase curb appeal. Further, keeping the lawn mowed and trimming shrubs and trash out of the yard will deter unwanted visitors.
2. Regularly Inspect The Property
- Check Locks & Doors- Continue maintaining the home’s security by checking for broken doors and windows and ensuring that all locks are functioning correctly.
- Remove Mail & Packages- Porch shoppers will quickly notice if there are boxes at the door. Additionally, if the mailbox is overflowing, this is a surefire indication that no one is home.
- Visit the Property- If you are self-managing your rental and are local, visit your property regularly. However, be sure not to visit at the same time, as this will show a pattern. Thieves are sneaky and notice these small nuances when targeting a property.
- Hire a Third Party to Inspect the Home- If you are not local or don’t have the time to dedicate to frequent visits, you may consider hiring a trusted third party to inspect the home. Experts such as TaskMasters Idaho will offer convenience and peace of mind to handle your vacant home inspections. A third-party inspector will enter the property frequently, test all doors, locks, and plumbing, and look for signs of forced entry.
3. Hire a Property Manager
It would be best if you were using one of Boise’s most-trusted property management companies. If you have potential tenants contacting you directly regarding your available vacant rental, be mindful of how much information you share. Your property manager can handle the many facets of protecting your vacant property and getting it tenanted quicker. Some of the details that your professional property manager will take of are:
- Screening Tenants- Property Managers are skilled at screening potential tenants and spotting a scam. If you are inexperienced, you may disclose specific details regarding your vacant property to a stranger, which could set your home up for a break-in.
- Marketing Your Property– The easiest way to eliminate vacancy concerns is to place great tenants in your property. Your property manager has access to a much more extensive network and will begin marketing the property immediately.
Owning a rental property in a place such as the Treasure Valley offers extremely low vacancy rates. Tenants are staying put and leasing properties for more extended periods. However, all rental property owners will experience a vacancy as tenants move from time to time. Additionally, considering the above tips, your vacant rental property will remain better protected. Further, staying proactive will lower the risk of costly damages due to theft, vandalism, or a break-in.
RentWise Property Management is committed to your success while owning an investment property. Investing in our services will not only save you time and money but will offer peace of mind that you are PROTECTING your investment long-term.