What You Can Do To Increase Your Airbnb Security
There is no disputing the fact that Airbnb has forever changed the way that we plan, book and go on holiday. It offers a wider than ever variety of accommodation options both within the United States and abroad making travel more accessible than ever. There are over 7 million rental properties on the Airbnb database covering more than 220 countries worldwide. In the US alone there are 660 000 Airbnb listings (more than any other country on earth). And while Airbnb does take steps to vet both renters and those renting, this listings boom has led to a host of crimes perpetrated by both hosts and tenants. This article looks at the issue of Airbnb security and ways that you as either a property owner or a potential guest can help mitigate these risks.
Ways to secure your Airbnb property as a host
If you’ve decided to list your property on the Airbnb platform, then now is the time to start thinking about security. As a host there are a number of security issues that arise including the issue of giving out keys to strangers; the risk of vandalism; or even just the risk of tenants not following security protocols and leaving your property vulnerable to crime. Luckily, there are a number of simple and cost effective measures you can take to make your property more secure.
Upgrade existing security to be able to access remotely
In the age of the smarthome there are a multitude of tools at your disposal that allow you to monitor your home security without actually being on the property, and these are invaluable to Airbnb hosts.
Automatic door locks
Automatic door locks serve two functions, firstly they will ensure that the door is locked whenever your guests leave reducing the chance of an opportunistic thief accessing your property. Secondly, they allow you to lock the door from anywhere, this is useful if your guests check out and you are concerned about whether they locked up correctly.
Security card locks on doors for access and exits
Another option is to install security card locks on key entry and exit doors. These cards are similar to the ones you will receive in a hotel and have the advantage of being active for the time of the stay only, which means you don’t have to worry about guests copying your keys or accessing your property at a later date for nefarious purposes.
Door and window sensors
Door and window sensors add a further layer of security by allowing you to actively monitor whether doors and windows are closed and locked even if you’re out of town. This means you can ensure that your property security is being taken into account by your guests.
Add smoke detectors
Even if your property is marked as non-smoking it is a good idea to install smoke detectors. Not only will this discourage guests from smoking, but will also go a long way to ensuring that your property isn’t damaged by a fire that results from cooking or barbecuing.
Have a safe installed
Installing a small safe allows your guests to securely lock away their valuables, this not only gives peace of mind to your guests, but will reduce the chance of theft from cleaning services or other service providers. So in short a safe doesn’t just give your guests peace of mind, but you as well.
Set house rules and have them available for guests
Because you will have a variety of guests from different cultures and parts of the United States (and even the world) it is important that you clearly communicate your house rules. These can be sent via email to guests, but we also recommend having a hard copy in an easily accessible spot on the premises so that your guests can familiarise themselves with the house rules.
Have evacuation plan visible and emergency numbers available
Being mindful of the fact that your guests are new to your space, and may be new to the city you are based in, it is good practise to have resources on hand that tell them what to do and who to call in the case of an emergency. Emergency numbers should be put up in a common area (or near the landline if you have one). It is also a good idea to draw up an evacuation plan that makes guests aware of exit points in case they need to quickly get out of the property.
Get additional insurance
While Airbnb offers a host guarantee, which is intended to help cover damage to your property or belongings caused by guests, it is still a good idea to ensure that you have comprehensive homeowners insurance, just in case Airbnb isn’t willing to honor your claim. Even if you currently have homeowners insurance it is still a good idea to relook your policy to ensure that you are covered for claims that may arise from your guests’ behavior.
Adding cameras to the external property facing entry points
Installing cameras at key security points is another way you can keep your property safe when renting through Airbnb. You would want to focus on key entry and exit points on the exterior of your property. For all cameras on a property Airbnb requires that guests are notified of the cameras in the “Things to know section” of the property profile and that guests are also informed about how cameras are monitored i.e. whether there will be active monitoring or not.
External security options
One of the biggest headaches with renting your property on Airbnb is access control. Airbnb opens your property up to new people and focussing on this aspect of security will go a long way to determining how safe your property is.
Add a remote access doorbell camera
Brands such as Nest have made doorbell cameras more accessible than ever. It means that even the most modest home can have a video intekom system that connects to your smartphone. Being able to see who enters and exits your property can not only help with short-term security, but can also help in settling disputes if any arise.
Exterior home cameras
Cameras on the exterior of the property are not only great for monitoring, but they also act as a deterrent to intruders looking to access the property as well as making guests think twice about any irresponsible or illegal activity. Once again guests should be notified of all cameras on the property and whether they are actively monitored or not.
Window locks that are adjustable and secure
Windows are another important and often overlooked aspect of Airbnb security. Windows often have inferior locks or the glass panes can be broken. Furthermore, if your guests aren’t security conscious they may neglect to close or lock windows. In these types of situations a lockable window latch such as LockLatch or MiniLatch provides a great security option. These devices feature an adjustable arm which allows you to lock the window in place even when it is open. This is a fantastic option for properties that require extra ventilation as LockLatch allows you to keep windows open permanently.
This is especially important if your property stands vacant for any length of time as leaving a window open with a LockLatch installed will help ventilate the home and prevent the build up of mold and other harmful pollutants.
Add additional locks to doors that can open but still be secure
Door security is probably the single most important aspect of access control. Once again LockLatch is a great added security option for doors as the patented design means it can be fitted to any type of door or window in minutes. This is particularly useful for smaller types of Airbnb properties such as apartments where leaving a door open can greatly aid in creating cross ventilation.
Security as a guest
Airbnb takes the security of their guests as seriously as that of the property owners. They provide a wide range of information about rentals including ratings and reviews. It is important that you do your research to ensure that you aren’t disappointed.
Research the area you intend to rent
A beautiful property is one thing, but it is just as important to know where it is located. Is the area safe? Is it close to public transport and any other amenities you may require? Is crime a problem in the area? These are just some of the questions you need to answer when looking at a property. Here a google search for crime statistics or even viewing the property in street view is a great way to get a sense of the surrounding area.
Set clear expectations
If you have any expectations for the property it is important to communicate these before booking, so as to avoid disappointment. This is also true about any special requests you may have. It is always better to be direct and simply ask than to feel unsatisfied when something isn’t the way you wanted or perceived it to be.
Find out about the safety and security of property
Just as it’s important to research area security, you should do due diligence for the security of property itself. While this information may not be publicly available you should feel free to ask the owner about what security measures they have in place. This is especially important if you will need a safe or similar locked storage space on your stay.
Check the reviews from previous guests
Reviews are your best friend when selecting an Airbnb property, they will give you a candid view of what a property is really like through the eyes of a previous guest. While there may be unfair or inaccurate reviews given to any property, if an Airbnb has a multitude of bad reviews it may be best to look somewhere else.
CTA: Increase your Airbnb Security with LockLatch today
Why not strat making your property safer with LockLatch. Each LockLatch and MiniLatch device is made from C304 stainless steel and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Furthermore, it can be quickly and easily installed in minutes and so there really isn’t any excuse to not upgrade your Airbnb security today.