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An Owner's Guide to Vacation Rental Home Security Systems

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An Owner's Guide to Vacation Rental Home Security Systems

Seeking peace of mind for your vacation rental property? Learn how integrating the perfect home security system can improve your guests' experience.

Security is important when it comes to rental properties; it's something property owners prioritize to ensure peace of mind for themselves and their renters. Break-ins can be financially devastating. But even more importantly, it can destroy the feeling of safety. As a homeowner or vacation rental manager, you know that a reliable home security system is one way to improve property security.

Sometimes, the difficult part is selecting the right system for your property. Modern alarm systems, combined with the innovation of smart home security systems, provide more than just alerts—they offer comprehensive functionality, from video doorbells to mobile app controls. Whether considering professional monitoring services like ADT and Frontpoint or DIY solutions like SimpliSafe and Ring, you have more than enough to consider. Let us help you better understand the unique security needs of a rental property so you can choose the right system for your investment.

lots of security cameras

Understanding the Need for Security in Rentals

As the demand for rental properties increases, homeowners face heightened responsibilities. It's not just about providing a comfortable space anymore; ensuring a secure environment has become paramount. Safety measures, from alarm systems to surveillance cameras, have become standard amenities that renters often look for. However, while security is non-negotiable, there's an equally significant need to respect guest privacy. Homeowners must tread carefully, ensuring their rental property is safe from potential threats without intruding on a guest's personal space. Striking this balance is crucial for building trust and ensuring repeat bookings. Many channels, such as Airbnb, require property managers to disclose that there is a surveillance camera on sight, regardless of where it is located on the property. You can read more about this here.

security camera warning sign

Rising Trends in Home Security

Today's home security is more than just alarms and locks. With the advancement of technology, rental properties are now seeing an integration of smart home devices. Home automation systems allow homeowners and property management teams to monitor and control security features remotely. Additionally, the rise of self-monitoring solutions provides homeowners the flexibility to oversee their properties. OwnerRez has partnered with many companies in the home security space to provide seamless integration between platforms. You can find a list of our door lock integrations here. You may also be interested in companies like PointCentral, Behome247, and Lynx, which offer many different types of smart home integrations.

OwnerRez Door Lock Integrations

Self-Monitored vs. Professional Monitoring: Which Suits You?

When it comes to safeguarding your rental property, deciding between self-monitored and professional monitoring can pose a challenge.

DIY Surveillance

Self-monitored or DIY surveillance offers flexibility and control. Homeowners can actively monitor security feeds, respond to alerts, and adjust settings, all in real-time via mobile apps. This often results in lower costs without monthly fees. However, the drawback lies in the responsibility: if you miss a notification or can't respond promptly, the security risk remains.

DIY Security Cameras

Outsourced Security

On the flip side, professional monitoring services provide peace of mind. Trained personnel monitor the property 24/7 and can take immediate action, from contacting authorities to triggering alarms. While this ensures a robust security cover, it often comes with recurring monthly fees and potential long-term contracts.

Lighting Enhancements

An often overlooked aspect of security is lighting. Well-lit exteriors and entry points deter potential intruders. Integrating renter-friendly lighting can both enhance aesthetics and bolster security measures. No guest likes to show up to a dimly lit house in a place they have never been to before.

house with lights

Components of a Comprehensive Security System

A well-rounded security system comprises multiple components working in tandem to safeguard your property.

Security Arsenal

At the forefront are security cameras strategically positioned to cover key areas. Motion sensors, often placed at entrances and windows, detect unexpected movements, triggering alerts. Smart locks offer controlled access, allowing homeowners to grant or restrict entry remotely. OwnerRez can automatically generate codes for your many different types of door locks, including numeric sequence locks and WiFi locks. Each time a booking is created, OwnerRez will automatically set the door lock code without you lifting a finger!

Schlage encode lock

Tech Integration

Modern security devices thrive on connectivity. Wi-Fi-enabled systems allow for seamless integration, with mobile apps offering centralized control. From viewing live feeds to remotely disarming the system, technology ensures that managing your property's security is just a tap away.

Installation: Going DIY or Hiring a Pro?

As security systems evolve, so do installation methods.


The DIY trend is on the rise, appealing to homeowners who prefer hands-on involvement. DIY installation kits are user-friendly, often requiring no tools and minimal technical know-how. They're flexible, allowing for easy adjustments, and typically come with clear instructions or supportive videos. However, the responsibility of correct installation and setup falls squarely on the homeowner.

DIY Project

Professional Touch

Opting for a professional installation ensures precision. Experts assess the property, identify vulnerabilities, and set up the system optimally. Though often more costly, this option guarantees that each component is correctly installed and fully functional.

Smart Access

In the age of tech, smart door locks are becoming pivotal. They offer remote access control and guest-specific access codes while integrating seamlessly with other smart home devices. Find the entire list of door lock companies OwnerRez works with here.

Boosting Security with Smart Home Features

Modern security transcends traditional alarms and sensors, embracing the era of smart homes.

Voice Commands & Integration

Leading the pack are voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, enabling homeowners to arm, disarm, or check their security systems using simple voice commands.


Enhanced Features

Beyond standard security, smart devices like thermostats play an indirect role—imagine detecting unusual temperature drops indicative of an open door in winter. Smart lighting can mimic presence, deterring potential break-ins when properties are vacant. Smart thermostats can also save you substantial amounts of money by only running right before a guest is going to check it and turning off as they check out. OwnerRez partners with smart home companies to make this happen.

smart thermostat

Holistic Property Management

To truly fortify your rental space, it's essential to look at security within a broader framework. A thorough property management checklist not only ensures security but enhances the overall guest experience.

Optimal Security Choices for Apartment vs. Independent Homes

When it comes to securing a living space, the approach varies between apartment settings and independent homes. Both come with their unique challenges and require tailored security solutions.

For apartments, the security often starts with the building itself. Many modern apartments come with built-in security features, from keycard access to monitored entryways. However, this shouldn't deter renters from adding an extra layer of protection. Indoor cameras and smart locks can be integrated without much alteration to the property. Given the limited space and closer proximity to neighbors, a high-decibel alarm system might not be as crucial. Instead, an apartment security system with mobile notifications and remote control via a mobile app can be more appropriate. The security deposit could also cover any damage or alterations resulting from the installation of security devices.

On the other hand, independent homes present a broader canvas for security. They often require a more comprehensive home security system. Outdoor cameras have become vital, offering monitoring options at every entry point—from the front door to the garage. Motion detectors, both for lighting and intruder alerts, can be strategically placed across the property. Glass break sensors and window sensors provide additional layers of protection. Given the larger space, both the indoor and outdoor environments need surveillance. Wi-Fi-connected systems like Ring or SimpliSafe allow homeowners to keep an eye on their property, ensuring peace of mind, especially during extended absences.

In both scenarios, the common goal remains: creating a safe haven for renters while offering homeowners the functionality and control they need over their property's security.

house with cameras

Cost & Commitment: Contracts and Pricing

Investing in a security system for your rental property is as much about financial considerations as it is about safety. As with most products and services, the price range for home security systems is vast, and understanding the cost dynamics is key.

Price Tags

Typically, the initial outlay for a security system can be divided into two categories: upfront costs and monthly fees. Upfront costs relate to the equipment—everything from cameras and motion detectors to control panels. Some systems, especially DIY ones, might require an outright purchase of this equipment. Others, particularly with professional monitoring, might roll these costs into the monthly monitoring fee or offer a rental arrangement for the equipment. Beyond the initial equipment costs, most alarm systems come with monthly or annual fees, especially if they include monitoring services, mobile app functionality, or smart home integrations. To help homeowners get into the smart home space, we work directly with smart door lock manufacturers to establish a direct connection. This means we can charge a small amount per lock per month rather than double or triple that by going through a third party. Read more about this here.

OwnerRez door locks

Commitment Concerns

Many home security companies like Vivint tend to lock homeowners into long-term contracts, especially if they offer professional monitoring. These contracts can range from one to five years and might offer discounted equipment or promotional rates in exchange for this commitment. While such agreements can ensure a fixed rate, they can also be restrictive, especially if your needs change or if you're unsatisfied with the service. Additionally, it's vital to understand the warranty that comes with your system. A good warranty can protect against malfunctions and offer peace of mind. However, warranties vary, with some covering only specific parts, like cameras or sensors, and others offering more comprehensive coverage.

While the allure of advanced features and top-tier security is tempting, weighing these against the associated costs and commitments is crucial. Whether opting for a self-monitored DIY system or a fully integrated professional setup, understanding the financial implications and contractual obligations will ensure you make an informed decision that offers both peace of mind and value for money.


Securing Your Rental Property With the Right Security System

The journey of selecting a security system for your rental property is full of decisions—decisions that can influence both the guest experience and your peace of mind as a homeowner. In a world where break-ins and security breaches are a serious concern, ensuring the safety of your rental home is non-negotiable.

Yet, security is not merely about installing cameras or setting alarms. It's about creating an environment where guests feel safe, and you, as the property owner, can rest assured that your asset is protected. This requires a meticulous balance. The cost of the system needs to align with its efficiency and convenience. A system that's too complex might deter guests or result in false alarms, while one too simple might not offer the comprehensive protection required.

In property management, every decision and every feature added to your rental speaks volumes about the care and thought you invest in your property. As homeowners, our priority should always be a holistic approach that merges safety with comfort and innovation.

Ready to take your property management game to the next level? Learn how OwnerRez can help you better manage your vacation rental property.