A major problem that most investor/property owner will encounter is vandalism. In most cases vandalism happens when the property is vacant, usually when the property has been recently purchased, being sold, tenant(s) moved out, or during rehab. In all cases we see force entry through the back door or window. All appliances are usually taken and anything of value (Doors, Light Fixtures, pool equipment, etc).
A couple of years ago it was common to see vandals take the copper out of walls and disassemble A/C units. Fortunately with scrap metal regulation it is required to show ID when selling scrap which discouraged vandals and it also helps that the cost of metal has gone down. With these changed we have seen a decrease of A/C theft in Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm.
Below are some tips that will help investors try to deter vandals entering your property:
- Alarm systems: This is an easy solution to resolve vandalism but it can come with a cost. Some systems charge about $20-$40 per month but can also charge a setup fee which can run you a couple hundred dollars.
- Window locks and sliding door locks. Most forced entries are done through the window or sliding door. A cheap window lock or sliding door lock and keep thieves out.
- Talk to neighbors. We speak with neighbors on every side of the property and ask them to contact us if they see anything suspicious. It’s incredible how many phone calls we receive of concerned neighbors unfortunately some neighbors call for any reason.
- Do not let the mail pile up in the mailbox or allow the landscaping get out of control. Those are indicators to vandals that the property is vacant and no one has been to the property for a long time.
- Weekly drive by.
- Maintain blinds closed to avoid displaying a empty home full of appliances.
- DO NOT PLACE LOCK BOXES ON THE FRONT DOOR. Place lock boxes away from plain sight.
- Rent the property fast.
You want to show a presence at the property move things around keep the property clean. If you follow all these steps it will dramatically decrease the chances of a break in. I cannot stress that there is no 100% guarantee to deter a thief to enter your property if they are determined to get in they will get in. Make it a little difficult for them so you or your neighbor can spot them or they will run once the alarm sounds on. The best deterrent for vandalism is to have a tenant move in as soon as possible.
Let us help you control your property’s situation, contact one of our property managers (786) 302 9454.