Property Management

The Dos and Don’ts of Home Security in a Rental Property

Written By Melanie Kershaw

Last Updated Jul 1, 2024

A renter checks her home security system on a tablet

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Home security is a wise investment when it comes to peace of mind for your own home, but what about a rental property? Is it worth the cost of installing a security system for a home you don’t live in? In this article, we explore the benefits of home security for rental homes and the dos and don’t for landlords considering their options.

4 benefits of adding home security to your rental home

1. Home security can protect your real estate investment

Systems that can deter theft or notify of an issue will help protect your asset both during and between lease agreements. It’s inevitable that your home will be empty from time to time — during pre-lease maintenance or renovations and when your home is on the rental market. Empty homes are a prime target for break ins and vandalism, so home security can help you keep watch.

When you do have tenants, the system will still be valuable in protecting your asset. Your residents don’t want anything stolen and you don’t want your property damaged — making security a win-win. 

2. You may be eligible for a discount on your insurance

A secure home reduces liability and most insurance companies reward this with a discount on premiums. Deadbolts, alarm systems and locking windows can all contribute to a reduction in your tenant’s premiums and may also reduce your own landlord’s insurance.

3. Home security could increase the rental value of your home

A secure home provides extra safety and peace of mind to potential residents and could attract a premium on your rental pricing. If you’re smart about your choices, this could cover the cost of installation and increase your return long term. Make sure monitoring services aren’t eating into your profits if tenants are not willing to foot the bill. 

4. Smart home monitoring could prevent serious issues or damage to your rental home

Smart home products can keep your home and residents safe by monitoring problems before they become emergencies, for example:

  • Smart smoke alarms that detect carbon monoxide levels can avoid toxic poisoning.

  • Water sensors that alert of leaks and flooding can avoid costly damage to homes.

  • Doorbells with video and/or motion sensors can notify of any unauthorized access to the property when it's vacant.

What to do when installing home security in a rental home

Buy reputable smart home products that residents can use

Smart home products that residents can enjoy themselves, such as a Ring or Nest video doorbell or smart smoke detector with carbon monoxide monitoring, offer the highest value to residents. These will make their life easier, while also offering some basic protection to your home. 

Make smart investments that increase your rental returns

Simple security upgrades such as deadbolts or smart locks, flood lights and window sensors can make a huge difference in peace of mind, without much outlay. Do your research before committing to anything too expensive and if you’re unsure if it will add value to your rental pricing, you can always ask the team at Belong

What not to do when installing home security in a rental home

Don’t put cameras inside a rental home

Security cameras are a common feature of home security, capturing footage of any break ins and deterring intruders. But when installed in a rental home, you risk breaching the privacy of your residents. This is especially true for hidden cameras that aren’t easily visible. 

There is a legal requirement for tenants to have privacy and ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the home they rent, which means any camera that monitors the home could be considered a breach of your lease agreement or even tenant harassment. It goes without saying that you absolutely can’t have a camera in any private space such as a bedroom or bathroom, but even surveilling their coming-and-goings outside the home could be a breach of privacy without proper consent or with improper use of the footage. 

Don’t install any cameras without doing your research 

Generally, it’s perfectly legal for landlords to install a camera outside the home to monitor outdoor activity. However, it’s important to note that state legislation varies across the country regarding consent and hidden cameras. So if, for example, you decide to install one at the front door, do your homework first. You may need to switch it off during a tenancy or get their consent to have it there. 

Don’t fall for home security scams

Homeowners are increasingly being targeted by home security scams and fraud. Home home security scams include:

  • Door-to-door sales scams, conning you into a bad contract for things you didn’t want or making off with your money. 

  • Free equipment scams, where you are promised home security equipment for free, with huge long-term monitoring costs in the fine print or auto-renewal clauses.


  • Fake business scams, where fraudulent websites look to steal your details and/or money for home security systems.

Avoid being taken advantage of by sticking with reputable companies that you have researched, turning away salespeople at your door or cold-call phone calls, and not succumbing to high-pressure sales tactics. You should also read through any contract before signing.  

Don’t spend too much money on security monitoring services

While video surveillance and active monitoring may be the most secure way to protect a home, they can be expensive and may not get you the return on investment you’re looking for. 

For a rental home, avoid spending a huge amount of money on costly monitoring services or video surveillance that could violate privacy, such as inside the home. 

How Belong looks after your rental home

One of the best ways to ensure your home is safe and secure is to rent it out long-term to reliable, trustworthy people. People who will take care of your home like it's their own and stay longer, reducing vacancies and damage. 

Belong gives this peace of mind to homeowners by finding the best residents (with 66% less vacancy), giving them 24/7 access to a concierge to report any issues, and offering instant access to a network of over 10,000 vetted contractors to keep the home in good repair. 

Visit our homeowner's page to find out more about how our services are helping people to ditch property management in Seattle, Redmond, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Tampa, Oakland, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and many more.

About the author

Melanie Kershaw

Mel Kershaw is a Content Lead at Belong. With an extensive background working with technology companies including Eventbrite and Yelp, she’s always looking for ways to create educational and informative articles that simplifies tech and solves problems for her audience.