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March 27, 2018
Tagged in: Security & Safety

Looking to purchase a rental property? Whether you want to become a full-fledged landlord or you’re an investor looking for a new rental complex or home, be sure your next property location offers safety and security to your potential renters.

Crime rates, the economy, and employment rates are all factors that contribute to safety in a neighborhood. And because safety is a basic human need for everyone, it’s something renters are willing to pay a premium for.

The location of your rental property will not only influence the type of tenant you house, but it will also affect your vacancy rate. Below is a list of 10 of the safest states to live in according to property crime research by Your Local Security, as well as information on economic stability and potential from U.S. News. We’ve also provided a list of things to consider when choosing the location of your next rental property and a few tips for making your rentals safer no matter where they are.

10 of the Safest States for Rental Properties

1. New Hampshire. The Granite State is focused on public safety and ranks low in the nation for property crime. It also has a very low unemployment rate.

(Neighborhood Report for Downtown, Manchester, New Hampshire)

2. Massachusetts. Thanks to a remarkably low property crime rate and a business-friendly environment, Massachusetts is one of the safest and most stable states to buy a property.

(Neighborhood Report for South Boston, Massachusetts)

3. Idaho. Ranked high for being great for businesses, the Gem State also reported very low property crime.

(Neighborhood Report for Downtown, Boise, Idaho)

4. Vermont. Involved citizens and law enforcement are large contributing factors in Vermont’s low crime rates.

(Neighborhood Report for Granite-East Barre, Vermont)

5. New York. With property crime rates well below the national average and a steady economic environment, the Empire State would make a great place to own rental real estate.

(Address Report for Murray Hill, New York City, New York)

6. Virginia. The Old Dominion State has numerous public safety task forces and initiatives and is committed to protecting its citizens. 

(Address Report for Vienna, Virginia

7. Pennsylvania. Scenic views, a booming manufacturing industry, and low property crime rates make Pennsylvania a wonderful place to own a rental property.

(Address Report for Swarthmore, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

8. Maine. From the gorgeous harbors to the Appalachian Trail, Maine is not only beautiful but also one of the safest places to live in America.

(Address Report for Eliot, Maine)

9. New Jersey. Ranking below the national average in property crime, New Jersey is environmentally diverse and can offer your tenants a choice between green landscapes and cool urban living.

(Address Report for Princeton, West Windsor, New Jersey)

10. Connecticut. With a property crime rate approximately 25% lower than the national average, this beautiful state full of beach towns will give renters peace of mind to live there.   

(Neighborhood Report for Hartford, Connecticut)              

How to Find a Safe Location

As you can see, there are many varied areas on this list. So what makes these states safe, and how can you identify areas that may be hidden gems when it comes to safety for your tenants? Read on for three things to look for when considering new locations.

1. Low Property Crime Rates

Burglaries and theft are the most reported crimes in the U.S., so renters want to know that their families and items are secure. Areas, where vandalism and crime rates are high, are areas to avoid when considering purchasing a rental property. Do some research online for up-to-date crime statistics, or call the local police department for information on officer-to-resident ratios.

2. Financial Security

Low unemployment rates and evidence of economic growth are driving forces on the impact of an area’s livability. A strong economy means an area can invest in growth, schools, healthcare, and framework—a thriving community is a safe community. To research unemployment rates, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can provide the information you’ll need.

3. Vacancy Rates

Research the location you’re considering for open rental listings. Too many vacancies could mean the area is unattractive due to crime or other factors. Investigating the area with a local real estate agent can give you insight on the safety of the neighborhood and reasons for the abundance of rental properties.

Make Your Property Safer

Whether your property is located in one of the states on our list or not, you can always make your rental property more secure by making a few small upgrades

  • Smart locks. Electronic locks are harder to break into and come with a variety of features. Renters can lock their homes through their smartphones if they forgot to lock it before leaving, and you don’t have to pay to have locks switched when someone moves out—you can simply reprogram the lock.
  • Exterior lighting. Lighting outside of a property with motion-sensing capabilities is a great deterrent for would-be intruders, so light up entrances and dark areas of your rental property. A well-lit property also helps eliminate trips and falls.
  • Home security. Today’s home security systems are more affordable than ever. Your renters can rest assured that their families and their possessions are safe and monitored 24/7. Wireless cameras can monitor activity at the property via smartphone and notify law enforcement automatically if there’s an issue.

Hopefully, this list of states and tips for identifying safe locations for rentals helps you decide on your next property. Leave us a comment if you have other valuable ideas to help make a rental property safe, and share this article with fellow property investors!

About the Author: Scott Bay is a digital journalist who reports on the latest technology trends, focusing specifically on smart home technology, travel, and AI.

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