Fun as it may sound to experience your own Home Alone shenanigans, in the real world, the festive season can be a stressful time for both landlords and homeowners. As the days become shorter, burglars are on the lookout for vulnerable homes. If you do not take the right precautions to secure your home during the holiday season, you might find your Christmas presents in the hands of thieves.
As a property owner, it is vital that you know how to protect your property amidst all of the festivities. Below, we have rounded up nine steps that you and your tenants can take to stop burglars from ruining the holiday cheer.
#1 Hide Presents
If your home has a massive Christmas tree with piles of neatly wrapped presents underneath, you are inviting burglars into your home. Christmas trees indicate that there are valuables, such as jewelry, gift cards, etc., nearby. Prevent burglars from sizing up your home by keeping presents out of sight. If your Christmas tree is situated near a window, be sure that it is locked at all times. Even if you store the presents in a secure location, burglars may still attempt to break inside when they catch a glimpse of the tree from the window.
#2 Avoid Posting on Social Media
Even though you may be tempted to post about your new iPad or your expensive new watch, avoid posting about the presents that you received on social media. Criminals often use social media to gain information about potential targets. It is extremely important that you do not post about expensive gifts, as this may invite burglars into your home.
#3 Be Mindful of What You Throw in the Trash
Gift wrappers seem harmless, but each time that you unwrap a gift, you must be mindful of where you dispose of its packaging. If you receive expensive items during the holidays, such as a new Xbox, do not throw its box directly into the garbage bin, so as not to give burglars an idea of what could be inside your home. Conceal the packaging in dark trash bags. If possible, shred the packaging or throw big boxes away at your local landfill.
#4 Turn the Lights On
Burglars work in the dark. If your home is vacant during the festive season, leaving the outdoor lights on gives burglars the impression that the home is occupied. If you are concerned about your energy consumption, making use of timer plugs can help you save on your electric bills. These can be used to automatically switch on and off certain lights at scheduled times during the day. Timer plugs are also a wise investment for property owners who have unoccupied properties.
Another trick is to use a TV simulator. It works by flashing colored lights indoors, giving the impression that someone is at home and watching the TV. They work similar to timer plugs and can be programmed to turn on and off at a specific time.
#5 Install Motion-Sensor Lights
Consider installing motion-activated lights on your front porch, lawn, and around your fence. Motion-sensor or motion-activated lights produce a blinding burst of light when it detects movement. While light cannot physically stop a criminal, a sudden flash of light can deter even the most determined criminals.
#6 Install CCTV Cameras
The best way to deter criminals from targeting your home during the festive season is by installing CCTV cameras. Not only do they discourage burglars from breaking in, but they also provide you with substantial evidence to identify criminals in the event that they do break into your home.
If you own a rental home, adding CCTV cameras can provide an extra layer of security to your property. However, some tenants may feel that it encroaches on their privacy. Be sure to discuss this matter with your tenants first, or request your property managers to look into potential legal issues.
#7 Do Not Make it Obvious That No One is Home
Don’t leave clues around your property that make it obvious that no one is at home. This includes packages left on the porch, posts in the mailbox, and much more. Burglars are known for being observant, allowing them to find the ideal moment to break into a property. Signs that the property’s occupants are absent will give them the right opportunity to stroke. If possible, ask a friend to regularly visit the property to ensure that these signs are nowhere to be seen.
If you are a landlord, ask your tenants to inform you if they’re going away for the holidays. You can then offer to keep an eye on the home. If you don’t live nearby, you can hire a property management company to keep a watchful eye on the property. Your property managers may also use this time to conduct maintenance, but be sure to notify your tenants first.
#8 Secure Doors and Windows
This seems fairly obvious, but many homeowners tend to forget to secure the locks on their doors and windows. Burglars typically make their way into a home through doors and windows that are easy to force open. If the locks on your rental property’s doors and windows are old or broken, it would be a wise investment to replace them to secure the property. This is especially important if your tenants are planning on going out of town during the festive season.
#9 Communicate with Your Tenant
Not all tenants will know how to secure the home during the festive season. This is why you must effectively communicate the safety tips above through accessible channels of communication, such as through property management software.
Communication is essential in every landlord-tenant relationship. If both parties can communicate clearly, there’s a higher chance that tenants will take the necessary steps to protect the home during the festive season.
Luxury Property Care offers full-service property management all year round. If you need an extra set of hands to help you manage your rental properties during the festive season, give us a call at (561) 944 – 2992 or fill out the contact form on our website today.