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Going on Vacation? Take These Steps to Protect Your Property

Are you in between tenants for your rental property? Leaving on vacation soon? Making sure your rental property is safe while you are away is an important, but often forgotten, part of Pittsburgh property management. In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a vacation, it’s easy to think that simply locking the doors is all you need to do to protect your rental house while you’re gone. The reality is that not prepping your home before you say goodbye leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of issues. The FBI estimates that there are at least 2.5+ million home break-ins per year and this translates to a home burglary every 13 seconds. As such, here are some Pittsburgh Property Management tips that can help to keep your mind at ease and your rental property safe while you’re away.

  • Unplug the Garage Door Opener – For all the talk about security, some people fail to realize that burglars use universal garage door remotes to open the door and then enter the house. Don’t let this happen to you. Unplug the garage door before you leave and make it impossible for thieves to enter that easily.
  • Unplug Smart Devices – Turn off and unplug all your smart appliances and anything that isn’t plugged into a surge protector. Smart appliances may be a way into your network and could be a security risk, either into information or even unlocking a door. You’ll also save money and be protected against any power issues while you’re gone since some TVs and charging units actually continue to draw power even when they are turned off. 
  • Get a Security System – This has all sorts of benefits including savings with insurance and peace of mind, but more than that, security systems are affordable these days. That means you can stay in the know while you are gone.
  • Don’t Leave a Spare Key Outside – There’s no need to leave a spare key in obvious places such as under the welcome mat, in the light fixture, or under a rock. Don’t give anyone easy access to your property that doesn’t need it.
  • Hold the Mail – Your rental may only be receiving a bit of junk mail, but having that pile up is a sign to thieves that no one is around. Fortunately, the USPS has made it much easier by allowing you to hold your mail online.
  • Social Media Smarts – We normally don’t associate social media with Pittsburgh property management, but thieves can monitor social media to see when a landlord is gone. There’s no need to broadcast your whereabouts to the world, but in case you do want to make your friends envious of that gorgeous tan you’re nursing in the Caribbean sun, make sure your social media accounts are locked down tight. Enable strong privacy settings possible so that only your close friends and family know where you are.
  • Time Those Lights – Indoor light timers are an inexpensive way to make it look like you’re home, even if you’re not. A timing unit will turn on lights that can be easily seen on the outside and will give the impression that someone is in the house, especially if a couple of lights are going on and off at different times.
  • Ask a Friend for Help – While you’re on vacation, ask one of your rental home’s neighbors to pull your trash cans out or just visit the house so it looks like it’s being lived in. The more it looks like someone is home, the less likely thieves will think about doing any damage.

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