It seems that security is becoming one of the bigger concerns being expressed by those in the market for a new single-family rental home. Many are looking into the various electronic security monitoring systems for help. But there are several things you can do to in the form of landscaping to make your rental units more secure and as such improve their curb appeal and increase their rental value. This is a win-win situation for everyone. Consider these options that may not cost a lot in the short term and are sure to pay for themselves in the long term.
Is the only outdoor lighting your rental home a single bulb at the front and rear doors? Thieves love a home with this much dark space around it. Consider adding a couple of pole lights in the yard with LED bulbs to keep operating costs to a minimum. Place them to create minimal shadows around the yard and high enough to avoid tampering.
Trim Back the Shrubbery
Not only does overgrown shrubbery look bad, it gives thieves the perfect place to hide. From there it’s only a short distance to breaking in a first-floor window. Keep those shrubs cut back and consider planting defensive shrubs such as rose bushes, Washington hawthorn, or pyracantha. All of these have thorns that will determine even the best of thieves.
Watch Those Trees
If you have trees close to the house, they make excellent ways of getting up the second-floor windows. If you don’t want to move the trees, try to keep branches that could be used for access by thieves trimmed back. However, for maximum security, you need to remove the trees. If you choose to keep the trees, regular pruning will help keep your trees much healthier.
If permitted, you should consider completely fencing your property in. Not only will this offer your tenants more privacy, the right type of fence can help make your property and tenants more secure. According to experts, the best fence would be between 6 and 8 feet tall, be made of aluminum, wood, or PVC and have locking gates. They go on to say the fence needs to have no gap at the bottom for a thief to slide under and be topped with “spear tips, anti-climb spokes, or razor wire” on the top to keep them from going over the top.
Gravel has Its Uses
There is nothing quite as beautiful as a well-manicured lawn that runs right up to the walls of your rental home, especially to a thief. A good thief can move silently across that lawn right up to the side of the home and in the window. If you create borders around your home or gravel pads under windows and around doorways, even the best of thieves is likely to make more noise than they want to risk.
This is only a small idea of how you can improve the security of your rental homes, which in turn makes it more attractive and has the potential to increase its rental value.