Renters essential home security guide
Going away for a holiday? Don’t make your home an easy target for thieves.
Australia is blessed with beautiful beaches and many holiday breaks throughout the year. With a holiday long weekend often just around the corner many of us will be leaving our homes for destinations near and far. While this is a great opportunity to enjoy a break, take the time for a road trip or to visit distant relatives your property and possessions could be at risk.
Unfortunately popular holiday periods are also the perfect opportunity for thieves to steal valuable household items from unoccupied homes. Research by QBE insurance reveals there is a 15 per cent increase in theft claims during holiday periods.
Free standing rental houses, due to the out-of-sight and access points for criminals, can be more exposed to risk than multi-unit rental apartments or townhouses. By following a few of the precautions we have listed below you can significantly reduce your home’s appeal to thieves.
7 tips to keep your home secure over the holiday period:
Resist the urge to blast your weekend pics on social media
Don’t broadcast publicly that you’ll be away from home. By sharing your plans you’re advertising your house will be empty which can result in unwelcome visitors. It’s tempting to post your holiday pics on social media, but your safest bet is to wait until you return, feel free to share all your awesome pics but just wait until your home! Alternatively update your privacy settings to ensure your holiday destinations are only being shared with close friends.
Secure doors and windows
While it seems like common sense, when you are excited to go away for the weekend it’s easy to overlook securing your home. Take the time to walk around your property and lock all doors and windows and ensure there aren’t any faulty or loose locks around your home. Talk to your property manager if work needs to be done to ensure the security of your rental property. Secure entry to your home before you leave.
Ask someone to keep an eye on things
Have a trusted neighbour, friend or relative check on your house while you’re out of town. Make friends with your neighbours, they are a good line of defence while you’re away and you can return the favour when they’re away.
Have a friend or family stay
Going away for more than a week? Consider having a friend stay and if you are considering an Airbnb arrangement it is best to first get written permission from your property manager.
Let in the light
Natural light is important when creating a healthy work environment. Natural light not only allows you to see your work clearly but it provides mood boosting and calming benefits. Sunlight helps regulate the body’s sleep and awake schedules to ensure your brain knows its work time. Try to select a rental property with plenty of windows and natural sunlight to create a healthy home office, with sunlight also comes warmth, during colder months sunlight beaming through the windows of your home is delightfully warming.
Move any valuables out of site of the windows or ensure all of the house blinds are closed
This one is a good habit to adopt any time you leave the house but it’s especially important when you are away for several days. Keep valuables out of sight and dont leave them where they can be seen through a window. Make sure devices, jewellery, cash and credit cards are hidden or even in a safe if you have one, a safe provides extra security for these valuable items.
Install cameras and sensor lights
Burglars like privacy, give them a good reason to steer clear of your house. When looking for a way inside your home, thieves are looking for dark areas that aren’t easily visible to your neighbours. You can install outdoor motion sensor lights, these can help deter the burglars without leaving the lights on all the time.
Thanks to advancements in technology you can now purchase surveillance cameras and access the feed directly from a mobile app, set up the motion sensor feature so you are alerted to any unusual activity at your property. In most states modification will need to be approved by your rental agent and cannot be reasonably refused and in some cases you may request to be reimbursed.
Consider renters insurance
While your premise may be protected by landlord insurance your belongings are not. Typically the landlord of your rental property will have landlord insurance, if the property is damaged during a break and enter usually this is claimable for repairs. Aside from the property, consider renters content insurance ensure your belongings and contents are insured incase of theft, if you have valuable items in your property keep an inventory and receipts, photograph rooms and valuable items.
What to do if you get burgled?
Sometimes break-ins occur despite all of these precautions. If your property does get robbed be sure not to touch anything, take photos and contact the police immediately. Consider contacting your insurer and providing images and information about what is missing. Remember to Inform your property manager to ensure they can arrange landlord insurance claims if the property has been damaged during the break in.
Being proactive about home security is the best form of defence, these home security tips will ensure your property is secure while you are away, so you won’t return home to any unpleasant surprises.
Enjoy the holiday break and rental home security!