So your rental property is empty and ready to be listed. The doors and windows are locked and secured, but the possibility of break-ins and vandalism makes you uneasy, especially since copper pipes and aluminum gutters are often and easily scrapped for quick cash. Luckily, there are tricks you can do to create the illusion that your rental property is occupied- even when the “for rent” sign pops up in the yard.
- Allow a neighbor to park in the driveway to send a clear message that someone is home. It’s also a win for any neighbor who normally parks in the street or has to jockey multiple cars. Neighbors can be very valuable if they are reliable and willing to inform you if anything at your rental seems awry.
- Maintain the landscape by keeping trees, shrubs and especially grass trimmed. A tidy yard is not only less desirable for pests and unwanted animal guests, it provides “proof” that someone is regularly tending to it and therefore often present.
- Redirect mail or pick it up regularly to avoid it piling up and sending out a vacancy flag. Some property owners don’t realize mail is being delivered to a property, so it’s always a good idea to stop in and check everything out from time to time.
- Install motion-sensor lights and/or landscape lighting to allow neighbors to see movement at night. This allows the property to be visible to the neighborhood at night- just be sure not to unintentionally advertise empty, unfurnished rooms.