Safe as Houses: How To Optimise Security At Your Short Let Property
Posted by Alex Anderson on July 26, 2019 · Blog
One of the biggest challenges of managing a short let is ensuring your property is adequately secured. We’ve picked out 8 ways you can give yourself peace of mind so you can focus on delivering a 5-star guest experience.
Know who you’re renting to
Platforms like Airbnb rely heavily on trust, but there are still some basic safety measures you can take to help ensure the people you’re inviting into your home will treat it like their own. The best signal is if a prospective guest has plenty of positive online feedback, or even better if they’re a host themselves.
A profile photo is helpful too, allowing you to ensure they’re who they claim to be on arrival.
Be discreet with communication
It’s strongly advised to keep all of your communication on the platform. That way, if any problems or disputes arise, Airbnb will have easy access to what’s been said, and by whom. Additionally, while friendliness and informality can go a long way, avoid being too casual with the information you give out about yourself or your home – especially before they’ve paid!
Related article: Safe as Houses: How To Optimise Security At Your Short Let Property
Be clear about house rules
When it comes to what you will and won’t allow guests to do in your home, it’s best to be as clear and upfront as possible – that way everyone knows where they stand.
Rules about smoking, parties, and areas of the property that are off limits should all be mentioned in advance, ideally distributed in a printed manual that you can leave in the property, and in digital form too. That way your guests have no excuses for flouting the rules.
Leave instructions for kitchen appliances
The kitchen is probably the room where accidents are most likely to happen, but there are some simple ways to mitigate risk. Instead of leaving the original (and usually dense) instruction manuals for appliances, consider writing up your own more user-friendly notes for guests to read.
You could also remind them to take measures such as leaving the oven top clear of anything flammable, and to avoid using candles (which are often forgotten about at the end of the night). Oh, and be sure to keep your utilities’ safety certificates up to date too.
Keep neighbours informed
Assuming you’re on good terms with your neighbours, it’s always worth letting them know when you’re hosting. That way they won’t be surprised to see unfamiliar faces milling around, and they can also keep an eye out for any suspicious or undesirable behaviour when you’re not there and get in touch with you if they’re sufficiently concerned.
Related article: Does landlord insurance cover Airbnb?
You could even drop a subtle hint to guests that the neighbours know someone’s staying – just try to be tactful!
Install a keyless access system
Far more than mere convenience, keyless entry systems can also make your home more secure for short-lets. Digital keys can’t get lost like physical ones, so you’ll always know exactly who has access to your home, and you can revoke keys in an instant too, if you ever have reason to do so.
Also, unlike key boxes and most smart locks on the market, if you use a system that isn’t visible from outside, no-one other than you and your guests will even know you have it. Klevio gives you all of these benefits – and more.
Lock up your valuables
It might be tempting to simply leave valuables in cupboards or bedside drawers, but we’d certainly advise locking them away if possible. If you have any rooms or areas of your home that are off-limits to guests, you have a natural and discreet place to put them. And it looks better than a padlocked drawer which could make a guest feel like they’re not trusted.
Take out home insurance
Home insurance is one of those expenses that many people often risk doing without, but for anyone who runs a short-let it’s definitely an investment worth making. However many positive guest experiences you’ve had, it only takes one bout of bad luck and you’ll be ruing the day you decided to skimp.
There are a number of holiday rental insurance deals specifically designed for short-let hosts, so just shop around until you find the right coverage for you.