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How to install a home security system in a rental property

5-minute read

Tenant programming a home security system
Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling

16 January 2024

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There were almost 200,000 home burglaries in England and Wales between March 2022 and March 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Unfortunately, this means that landlords should treat home security as a priority to protect their property and their tenants.

If you want to make your property more secure, read our guide for information on the best home security systems, the benefits of wireless systems, and whether you should opt for professional or DIY installation.

Why should landlords get a home security system?

The benefits of a home security system for any property owner are simple – it can reduce the chances of a break-in, giving you peace of mind that the property and its contents are secure.

In rental properties, there’s likely to be more coming and goings if you have multiple sharing tenants or if you have a high turnover of renters. As a result, there could be more security risks due to people you don’t know visiting the property, lots of people having keys, or the property being empty for extended periods.

So, for landlords, not only can a security system protect your investment, but it can also help to make tenants feel safe. When advertising your property, good home security could make it more appealing to prospective tenants.

Can you install a home security camera system in a rental property?

Security cameras are an important part of many home security systems, but you may be wondering whether it’s possible to have cameras in an occupied rental property.

There’s no law against landlords installing cameras as part of a home security system, but they must be used responsibly. This means they can’t be used in private areas of the property such as the living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms and should only be used for security.

If you’re looking to install cameras with tenants already living in your property, you’ll need to get their written consent. For new tenancies, you’ll need to inform prospective tenants about any recording equipment and include clear guidelines in the tenancy agreement.

If you’re using exterior cameras that record outside of your property’s boundary, you should do your best to point them away from neighbour’s homes and shared spaces. Read more about domestic CCTV rules on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

You should approach using security cameras with caution and make sure you get legal advice about how they can be used if you’re unsure of anything.

Can tenants install security cameras?

There’s no reason why tenants can’t install security cameras in your property, but they’ll need your permission first.

If you don’t already have cameras and your tenants want to install some, they’ll need to follow the same guidelines – using them responsibly and for security purposes only.

What are the best home security systems?

When choosing a home security system for your rental property, it’s important to do your research and pick a provider that meets the needs of you and your tenants.

Should landlords get a Ring home security system?

One of the best-known security systems comes from Ring (owned by Amazon), thanks largely to the popularity of the Ring doorbell.

Alongside the video doorbell, a Ring system can also include cameras and sensors. Users can set up notifications and control alarms from their smartphone, with paid options for assisted monitoring.

Ring is suitable for all property types and is easy to install yourself. One of the main benefits for landlords is being able to have different settings for when tenants are at home or away, or to completely disarm the system.

Simplisafe or Verisure – what’s best for landlords?

Two other popular home security brands are Simplisafe and Verisure.

Here’s an overview of what they provide:

Simplisafe

  • a selection of sensors, alarms, indoor and outdoor cameras, panic buttons, and door bells
  • 24/7 professional monitoring for less than 53p/day
  • smart home integration, compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Watch
  • easy installation – no drilling needed, just plug in the ‘Base Station’
  • built-in wifi and cellular connections, in case your internet goes down

Verisure

  • choose from a selection of alarms, cameras, key fobs, panic buttons, door bells, and shock sensors
  • one device that combines alarms, two-way voice communication, and customisable keypad
  • get a response from Verisure’s ‘Alarm Receiving Centre’ in an average of 45 seconds when an alarm is triggered
  • use the My Verisure app to control your security system from anywhere in the world
  • incorporate SOS buttons into your system, which are typically answered in under 20 seconds

Should landlords get a wireless home security system?

These days, most home security systems are wireless. This makes them easier to install, plus there aren’t any wires for intruders to cut.

Wireless systems give users more options to customise their security, which can be useful for landlords. For example, being programmed to work at set times or in specific areas of the property.

There are also better remote access options, usually in the form of an app. This is especially useful for landlords as they don’t live at the property themselves.

One of the pitfalls to consider is poor connectivity. If a wireless system uses wifi, you need to make sure your internet connection is strong and reliable. That being said, many wireless systems rely on cellular connections, which don’t require wifi.

Another thing to think about is maintaining batteries. If batteries in sensors, cameras, or alarms run out, the system won’t be fully functional. So you’ll need to make sure you check batteries during property inspections, and remind tenants to check them regularly.

How much does a home security system cost?

The cost for a basic home security system including alarms, cameras, doorbells, and censors could cost in the region of £200 to £600.

You’ll need to pay extra for installation, while professional monitoring or extra products could cost around £30-80 a year.

Home security system – DIY or professional installation?

Most basic systems should be easy enough to install yourself, saving you some money. Wireless systems also tend to be quite easy to set up without much disruption.

You might need professional help to install a home security system if:

  • your property is especially large
  • the system requires work to be installed (such as drilling holes or laying under floorboards)
  • the system is complex and has lots of different parts

How can tenants help with home security?

It can be useful to regularly remind your tenants of how they can help to keep your property and their possessions secure.

Here are five things they can do:

  1. Hide their valuables when not being used so they’re not visible to opportunist thieves
  2. Take out a contents insurance policy to protect their own belongings, such as a TV or expensive ornaments
  3. Let the landlord know immediately if any security features, such as a burglar alarm or lock, are broken and need repairing
  4. Leave hallway or porch lights on when going out and taking extra care when securing door locks and windows
  5. Let the landlord know if they’re planning to be away from the property for longer than a few days

How could a home security system affect your landlord insurance?

Most landlord insurance policies will cover damage or loss caused by a break-in or attempted break-in.

However, before installing home security, it’s important to check your policy documents to make sure there are no system requirements.

These could include:

  • the grading of the alarm system
  • whether the system was professionally installed
  • whether the system is monitored
  • how often the system is checked and maintained

You should contact your insurer if you’re unsure how a home security system could affect your cover.

What are your tips for installing a home security system? Let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Jędzura/stock.adobe.com
Conor Shilling

Written by

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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