Twelve Low Cost Security Ideas for your Investment Property

By Sharon Fox-Slater on 12 Dec 2013
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Twelve Low Cost Security Ideas for your Investment Property

There are simple but effective ways you can protect your investment property from theft
Photo: Eastlake Times

Security features

Properties offering good security have extra appeal for both tenants and insurers – and improvements don’t need to cost a fortune.

The Basics

1. Locks on both windows and doors are a basic starting point – and compulsory in some states.

2. You can also provide tenants with a security tip sheet. The points below will be useful

Inexpensive Additions

3. Padlocks for sheds, garages and garden gates to make it harder for burglars to break in.

4. Front door ‘peep holes’ so tenants can identify people knocking before opening the door.

5. Clearly visible street numbers so emergency services (and pizza delivery vans) can find the property easily.

“Sheer curtains prevent burglars from peeking inside to see what might be available to steal.”

6. An extra bolt on the back door which can be locked when tenants leave via the front door.

7. “Beware the dog” signs and window stickers that warn the property is protected by alarms can help deter burglars– even if there is no dog or alarm on site.

Better Security

8. Solar-powered motion-sensitive security lights can be installed without the need for expensive re-wiring.

9. Sheer curtains prevent burglars from peeking inside to see what might be available to steal.

10. Window and door security screens provide another barrier for burglars and make tenants feel confident to ‘air’ the house in hot weather; there are some attractive versions on the market today.

11. Small household safes are available for less than $100.

12. There is a large range of alarm systems – including wired and wireless, monitored and self-monitored – at a number of price points.

Security Tips

Reduce the risk of intruders and burglaries with these common-sense tips.

• Remember to lock doors and windows when you are not home – even if you only plan to be out for a short time and even if the windows are upstairs.

• Don’t leave tools, such as ladders, screwdrivers or garden implements, lying around outside as they could be used to break in.

• If there’s a door between the garage and the house, lock it.

• Keep the garage and shed locked, even if you are at home, as burglars might steal power tools or other equipment stored there.

• Contact your local police station for advice on engraving your possessions.

“Remember to lock doors and windows when you are not home – even if you only plan to be out for a short time.”

• Don’t write your address on your keyring.

• Stop all mail and deliveries when you go on holidays.

• Posting about your holidays online can alert thieves your home will be unoccupied – think twice before you post and check your privacy settings are appropriate.

• Don’t leave an answering machine message saying you are “not at home” or “away on holiday” – just say you “can’t come to the phone”.

• Get insurance for your possessions – there are policies available for tenants, home owners and people in shared rentals.

• Make an inventory of your valuables including descriptions, make and model numbers, serial numbers and value in case you need to claim on your insurance in future – and take photos of your items too.

• Don’t hide a spare key outside your home – thieves are experts at finding them.

• Avoid leaving notes on the door which might give away the information that you’re not home.

• Keep plants in the front garden trimmed so the front of the home is visible from the street.

• Don’t leave car keys visible from windows.

About the Author

Sharon Fox-Slater is the Executive General Manager of RentCover, a division of EBM Insurance Brokers which insures 120,000 investment properties around Australia. With 20 years’ experience in landlord insurance, Sharon’s top priority is customer service and positive customer comments are her biggest marker of success. Despite leaving school at 15, Sharon has forged a ground-breaking career – she was the first woman to become a Fellow of the National Insurance Brokers Association. Sharon was recently honoured to have been included in Insurance Business magazine’s Elite Brokers 2013 list.

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