As a Tampa property management company, one of our most important responsibilities is ensuring the protection of clients’ vacant investment properties against thieves, vandals, and squatters. This is especially important for property owners who do not live near their investment properties.
If you are managing your own investment property, and it is currently vacant, here are five ways to safeguard against theft and vandalism.
1. REMOVE “FOR RENT” SIGNAGE
When thieves, vandals, and squatters are on the prowl for potential properties to break into, rob, destroy, or inhabit they look for easy targets. A sign in the front yard that reads, “For Rent” is the equivalent to a large, blinking arrow pointing directly to your property that says, “No one lives here, come on in!”
2. MAINTAIN THE EXTERIOR
There is no better indicator that a property is vacant than an unkept exterior. An overgrown lawn, stained walkway, and accumulation of debris such as old newspapers in the driveway make a property look as if it were abandoned, which draws thieves, vandals and squatters. Make sure to keep up with a regular lawn maintenance schedule and remove debris such as old newspapers regularly to ensure that your property does not look vacant.
3. MAKE THE PROPERTY LOOK LIVED-IN
Another simple way to protect your property from theft and vandalism is to make the property look as if it were lived in. If a property looks as if someone is home, most thieves and vandals will be deterred from entering it. This can be done by simply setting a combination of exterior and interior lights on a timer to turn on/off at a certain time of day, installing motion lights, and leaving the second story blinds open.
4. SCREEN PROSPECTIVE TENANTS
One of the more important elements of protecting your property is to thoroughly screen your prospective tenants. When prospective tenants call to ask more details about your property, be careful to not give too much information over the phone. Many criminals use this as an opportunity to acquire information about a property they may be targeting. If you are unsure of the tenant screening process, it is recommended to hire an experienced Tampa property management company to handle this responsibility for you.
5. HIRE A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY
If you are unable to closely monitor your property, seek the help of a professional who can. Hiring a professional property management company in Tampa such as Wise Property Management will give you the peace of mind that your property is managed and protected. A professional property management company will have the appropriate measures in place to actively monitor and maintain the property in your absence.
If you would like information regarding our property management services, please contact us today at (813) 968-5665.