Smart home devices have become household staples in the last 15 years with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest popping up in homes around the world. They can make life more convenient and entertaining in a variety of ways.
But smart home devices don’t just make your life more enjoyable – they can give you peace of mind that your property is safe and secure. And for landlords, the technology could make a real difference to how you inspect, secure, and maintain your property.
Read on to find out which five smart home devices are the most useful for landlords.
Smart home devices are appliances that are usually connected to the internet and can be controlled through an app on your phone. And there’s typically some level of automation and personalisation involved with them – depending on how advanced the technology is.
Many smart home devices have become so commonplace that you may not realise you have them, like smart:
While convenience is a major benefit of these devices, some of them can provide security and peace of mind to landlords when used right.
Whether you’re renting to a long-term tenant or have a short-term let with lots of guests coming and going, these five smart home devices could make your life easier.
It’s worth noting that you should clearly state how you plan to use your smart home devices in your tenancy agreement so there isn’t a breach of privacy for your tenant.
Smart smoke alarms work like traditional ones but with the added benefit of sending notifications to your phone. This means you’ll be alerted even when you’re not at the property.
This is particularly useful when your property is unoccupied. If you’re waiting for a new tenant to move into your property, for example, a smart smoke alarm could put your mind at ease that your property is safe.
But even while your property is occupied, a modern smoke detector would give your tenant the same level of awareness because they can be notified if they’re out of the house too. Giving you and your tenant peace of mind that you can respond to an emergency as quickly as possible.
Popular options include:
Depending on which model you choose, they can be hardwired or battery-powered. Meaning the installation costs can be lower than some of the other options on this list.
Smart meters help you get an accurate reading of the gas and electricity usage in your property. They send the details of your energy usage directly to your energy supplier which makes your bills more accurate. And in most cases you receive a device that shows your daily spend.
This can be helpful for landlords for a few reasons. If you include bills in your rent, a smart meter helps you more accurately decide the right amount to charge your tenant.
And rather than having to read your gas and electric meters individually you can just use the device and have the information all in one place.
Most energy suppliers are offering to replace older meters with a smart one with no up-front cost as the government aims for most homes in the UK to be offered them by 2025.
Although they’re less common than the other smart home devices on this list, leak detectors are worth considering for your rental property. They’re sensors that work similarly to smoke alarms – you place them near an area that has a risk of a leak and you’ll get an alert on your phone if one is detected.
Placing sensors under the sink, near dishwashers and washing machines, or near sump pumps could help catch a leak early, which is crucial when it comes to limiting the damage to your property.
Some also measure the temperature and humidity of the area and alert you if there’s a risk of freezing or mould. This helps you prevent something that could turn into a leak, like a burst pipe.
You’re able to fit most devices yourself too, so you don’t need to pay any installation fees. Popular choices are:
A smart thermostat allows you to control the temperature of your heating from an app on your phone or from the physical dock. Investing in one for your property can help save energy while also making it more desirable to a tenant by offering them a more convenient, modern option.
Some models learn your routine and adapt a heating pattern to your schedule – meaning it saves on energy by only being used when necessary.
But for landlords, being able to remotely control the temperature of your property while it’s unoccupied can save you time and money. For example, if you’re trying to avoid a burst pipe during freezing temperatures, you could turn on your heating early.
This is particularly useful for landlords who have a portfolio of properties and may not live nearby. But there are some costs to consider, even though it’s possible to do so yourself, it’s recommended you have a professional install your smart thermostat.
The most common smart thermostats on the market are:
Installing a smart lock on your property gives you keyless access as well as information on if your property is secure or not. They’ll usually be connected to your home’s wifi and have an app that’s linked to your phone.
In their basic form, a smart lock replaces a key lock with a code – so you won’t have the issue of a tenant losing their keys anymore. But more advanced locks let you gain access with fingerprints, voice-recognition, either via the app or by proximity.
Smart locks are very useful for landlords who run short-term lets because it allows guests to check-in themselves and reduces the chances of them having issues getting into the property.
But there are some advanced features on smart locks that are useful for both you and your tenants. Some smart locks allow you to:
Some of the smart locks can be self-installed but for the more advanced models you’ll need some help. Some of the most popular smart locks are:
What smart home devices would you get for your property? Let us know in the comments.
Zach Hayward-Jones is a Copywriter at Simply Business, with six years of writing experience across entertainment, insurance, and financial services. Zach specialises in covering small business and landlord insurance. He has a particular interest in issues impacting the hospitality industry after spending a number of years working as a pastry chef.
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