With how expensive everyday expenses are getting, many people are looking for ways to bring in a little extra cash. Groceries have gone up. Gas has gone up. And kids are wanting to be involved with more and more after-school activities. Because of this, many people are converting their garages, backhouses and basements into income properties.
Most of us have probably heard of the website and app Airbnb, but there are several other websites out there that allow property owners to rent out their extra bedrooms or entire homes to people almost anywhere in the world. It truly is an innovative way to rake in some extra dough without having to buckle down and work a second job. However, people coming in and out of these individual’s rentals can prove to cause a variety of predicaments.
Why Homeowners Should Protect Their Income Properties
While most income properties may not contain all of your personal belongings and your family may not reside in the residence, there are still several benefits to installing a home alarm in your income property. Having a rental, such as an Airbnb, has many benefits. However, protecting the property from renters, who you know nothing about and who are coming and going week after week, is vital if you want to make having an income property worthwhile.
Benefits of Having Surveillance Cameras
Benefits of Having Home Alarms
If you own an Airbnb or any other type of income property, protecting your investment can be one of the smartest things you choose to do for your rental. It will protect your space, your tenants and your family from any issues that may arise in the future. Alarms and cameras have continually proven to be helpful in preventing crimes and also aid in police investigations after a crime has been committed. This is especially important if your income property is an Airbnb due to the number of guests who are staying at your property every year.
Is It Legal to Have Cameras Inside an Income Property?
We know that this option is not for everyone, but we wanted our readers to know their options. While installing wireless cameras may make guests at your income property feel uncomfortable, it is legal in some states. However, laws vary and there are very specific guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid violations. Below is a brief list of guidelines for property owners:
The location where indoor cameras are placed is essential to avoiding violations. Property owners are free to install cameras in any public outdoor areas, but there are very specific guidelines for indoor cameras. If legal in your state, indoor cameras cannot be placed in private areas. Installing indoor cameras can be risky for property owners and may end up causing more legal issues than intended.
One major factor to remember when installing CCTV cameras, is that all cameras must be visible. Your tenants must also be notified that the cameras are actively in use. We advise adding this piece of information to your renter’s agreement so there are no potential disputes over tenant notification in the future.
It is illegal to record anyone without consent. Laws vary from state to state; however, we suggest installing a camera without an audio recording feature just to be safe. We also recommend looking up state laws before installing an audio recording camera in order to protect yourself against any legal issues.
The main benefits of having indoor security cameras installed would be to ensure that guests do not break house rules, do not steal from you, and to provide proof in the unfortunate case of a legal dispute with renters. However, there are risks if you are considering installing indoor cameras and the decision should be carefully considered and preferably discussed with a lawyer.
Other Ways to Increase Security at an Income Property
In addition to installing cameras and/or home alarms, there are a few things you can do to safeguard your income property from burglars and property damage from existing and future tenants:
Which Systems Should Property Owners Install?
There is no quick and simple answer to this question. While most local security companies have a one-size-fits-all package for residential properties, here at Am-Tec we will personally walk your property with you and give you our professional suggestions. Our knowledgeable employees can go over a variety of options with you and customize your security system based on your budget and security needs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Most people don’t know about the various options on the market and what each system is capable of. We welcome all questions and concerns. Our employees will gladly go over the different options and explain the pros and cons of any system you are interested in. We aim to provide transparent service and pride ourselves in genuinely caring about our customers’ satisfaction.
There are several options out on the market. You are welcome to browse the web and see what’s out there or you could just give us a call—we can make the process significantly less time consuming and confusing. We also have a few blogs under our “Resources” tab on our website that go over DIY alarms systems and a few other topics that you may find useful.
Whether you know exactly what you are looking for or are not really sure what to do from here, give our office a call at 800-609-2527.
Now that school is in full swing and all of us are beginning to set our regular routines, you probably are starting to recognize a few blinds spots that you didn’t notice while preparing for back to school. All the kids' binders may be well organized, the driving schedules are probably set, the Crockpot dinners are in the freezer and prepped, however, you may not have considered the plan for when your children get home from school.
Whether your kids walk home, take the bus, or are dropped off by someone you trust after school lets out, it’s always a smart idea to think ahead about what happens when they get to the front door. While many people think their children are safe at home during the day, it’s important to know that most burglaries occur during the afternoon before parents return home from work. Having a plan is vital to your peace of mind and also your family’s safety.
Knowing where your children are, and what their daily routines are, is essential to ensuring their complete safety. Listed below are a few tips to make sure they get to and from school without harm every day.
1. Know Your Children's Route
Planning the most direct path can help your children avoid unnecessary dangers while walking to the bus stop or walking all the way to school. Including your child in this plan will help him or her understand the importance of obeying all traffic laws, why they should not talk to strangers and also why they need to stay on the planned route.
2. Have Your Children Memorize Your Phone Number
While most children have cellphones these days, it is always a good idea to have them memorize close family members’ numbers in case of an emergency. We also recommend teaching them how to call 911 and then explaining to them when 911 should be called versus when a family member should be called.
3. Start a Calendar
Know where everyone is during the day! Draw up a calendar with your kids so the entire family knows where everyone is during the week. You can even make this fun by using stickers or allowing the kids to color on the calendar. Make sure to add all after-school activities and social engagements, as well.
While these little tricks are helpful, it’s vital to inform your children of the dangers of engaging with strangers. Most of us laugh at the commonly-used term “stranger danger,” but we need to remember that all of us were taught to have a healthy fear of people we do not know at some point—this does not come naturally to children who typically tend to trust most adults. We suggest starting up a conversation at dinner tonight about strangers and general safety.
We also recommend going beyond just having a conversation about strangers. Sit your children down and talk about how their natural curiosity could lead them into trouble. Come up with a plan and ask them questions about what they would do if they came home after school to an open front door or broken window. This will help you get a better idea of how your children think and how they may respond in a situation like this one.
After getting a feel for how your kids may respond, talk about where they could go and who they would call if anything ever felt suspicious. Make sure to explain how they should never explore a sketchy situation on their own. Having these conversations with your children and asking them questions is an excellent way to make sure the entire family is on the same page.
Security System Features
If you don't feel comfortable overly emphasizing how dangerous the world we live in is with your children, you can take some of that burden off them by installing a security system. Not only do home alarms keep burglars away and secure your home’s premise, they can also detect fires, gas leaks, floods and other disasters. Monitored systems will even give you a call and dispatch the Police Department and/or Fire Department if necessary.
Another amazing feature some security systems have is notifications. These systems notify you when your children have arrived home. Your kids can punch is a special code that will disarm your system and will immediately send you a notification that they made it inside safely. After they are inside, they can easily rearm the system themselves. You can also install a camera inside the house so you can keep an eye on your kids while you are away. If you see them playing with the stove or doing something they are not supposed to be doing, you can quickly give them a call and resolve the issue.
There are some amazing systems that include these features and a few even have live-answer options that allow you to answer your front door no matter where you are. All of these high-tech features are sure to protect your entire family 24/7.
What Should You Do Next?
Plan a time when your entire family can sit down and talk about after-school safety. Make sure to have some questions ready and allow your kids to answer on their own so you can see what they would do in a given and potentially dangerous situation. After, come up with a plan together that you all feel good about. Plan your daily routine, write down the weekly activities on the family calendar, speak to them about the seriousness of safety and maybe start having them memorize your numbers.
If you want to take things a step further, call us here at Am-Tec Security at 800-609-2527. One of our friendly employees can help you find alarms, doorbells, locks and security cameras. Whether you want something simple, or the works, we have got you covered.