Where to Store Valuables When Renting Your House Out
Here are your best options for storing your valuables when renting your house out:
- • Independent safety deposit boxes
- • Bank safety deposit boxes
- • Home safes
- • Hidden at home
Cashing in by renting out your own home on sites like Airbnb can be an extremely appealing prospect.
But what to do with your valuable and irreplaceable possessions? Where can you store your valuables when renting out your home? After all, even with a smiling profile picture and ten positive reviews, that Airbnb user is still a total stranger to you, and they’ll have unfettered access to your house. Heck, you’ll even give them a key!
So: how can you safely store your valuables when renting out your house?
How to Secure Valuables in Your Rental Property
You’ve just listed your rental house on Airbnb, HomeAway, or a similar short-term vacation rental website, and you’ve just booked your first guest! Congratulations! They’re arriving this weekend, and they’re excited to make themselves at home in your home.
But before they get there, you have some babyproofing... er, guestproofing to do on your home.
Some rental owners choose to deliberately leave some of their valuables available for guest usage, offering them as “amenities” of sorts to attract more guests. These range from providing their own shampoo and conditioner to allowing access to their high-end desktop computer.
But for things you definitely don’t plan on sharing with your guests, you have two basic options: hide them, or lock/secure them.
How to Hide Valuables at Home
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s generally true, and a quick bit of hide-and-seek can offer some protection against crimes of opportunity when renting out your house.
Air vents are a great, rarely thought-of place to hide your smaller valuables. They’re inconspicuous, ubiquitous, and require at least a screwdriver to access. Simply remove the vent cover, slip your valuables inside, and close it back up!
Bonus hiding points if you choose vents mounted in the ceiling, which require ladders or especially tall guests to access.
There are also companies that sell hidden-in-plain-sight ways to hide your valuables. Dummy wall art, faux books, and even light fixtures with hidden storage are all clever ways to hide valuable items where guests aren’t like to check.
But of course, at the end of the day, you’re playing hide and seek with the fate of your valuable possessions. None of these solutions are as safe as locking them away.
How to Secure Valuables at Home
There are three main ways to secure your valuables in plain sight in your own home, and each comes with unique advantages and drawbacks that will require rental property owners to weigh their own preferred balance between security and hospitality.
Look, if you want to make sure someone doesn’t steal something, what do you do ninety-nine percent of the time? You put a lock on it.
There’s no particular reason you can’t use traditional combination or key locks to secure your jewellery, secure your electronics, or secure your other valuables. Whether you place all your jewellery in a locking drawer or toss all your electronics in a bedroom and lock the door, locks are a pretty safe and very familiar method to most people.
They’re not without their drawbacks, however. First of all, they are not completely secure. Locks can be broken, drawers can be smashed, and doors can be kicked down. Locking containers are not as secure as safes.
Secondly, they are not particularly welcoming or hospitable. Security is important, but so are many other factors when successfully renting out your house, including the guest experience. Big fat locks all around the house tell your guests, “I’m grateful for your money, but I don’t trust you.” That’s not a particularly good recipe for repeat customers.
Plastic zip ties are replacing everything from locks to police handcuffs, and for good reason: they’re quick and easy to use, they’re strong, and they’re relatively easy to dispose of when finished.
If you’re more concerned with your guests innocently venturing where they shouldn’t rather than consciously trying to rob you, zip ties are a great compromise. They’re cheap, and they can reliably keep certain drawers locked or closets closed where you don’t want your guests to go. They are also less martial and mean-looking than beefy locks, telling your customers in a polite manner, “Please, house owner only!”
The downside? They can be defeated by a pair of scissors. So don’t trust anything irreplaceable to Fort Zip Tie.
What’s safer than a safe, right? In your own private home, probably nothing.
Safes are virtually indestructible, so they’re difficult to break into, and they’re discreet, so you can hide them out of sight in unobvious and unobtrusive places.
However, the smaller ones are portable. Thieves may not be able to take your valuables out of them; so they’ll just take the whole safe. Large safes, on the other hand, are extraordinarily heavy and immobile, but they come with a price tag to match, with many costing thousands of dollars.
The real problem with safes, and honestly with all of the above-mentioned at-home options, is that you cannot access their contents while your home is occupied. You would have to enter your home to retrieve them, a practice that is considered extraordinarily unprofessional in the short-term rental industry and in some cases is cause for a host being permanently banned from the listing platform.
Securing Valuables in a Safety Deposit Box
Banks used to be the only option for storing your valuables in a safety deposit box. Today, more and more banks are moving away from this service, and options for consumers are becoming increasingly rare.
At a bank, you can typically only access your box (and its contents) during normal business hours, limiting how available your possessions really are. Additionally, most banks keep a copy of the key to your box, so if the bank itself is ever compromised, there is a very real chance your box will be, too.
Securing Valuables in an Independent Safety Deposit Box
If you’re looking for an option that combines the ironclad security of a bank safety deposit box with the flexibility and accessibility of a personal safe, you’re looking for an independent safety deposit box facility.
With Custodian Vaults, you and your valuables enjoy several features that make it the smarter choice over bank deposit boxes.
You do not sacrifice security when choosing Custodian Vaults, period. Our vaults are stored in state-of-the-art facilities with 24-hour physical monitoring and bio-metric security protocols. We count many of Australia’s finest jewellers among our clients.
Unlike bank deposit boxes, Custodian Vaults go beyond the physical safeguarding of your valuables by providing full liability insurance at no extra cost as a privilege of membership. All boxes are insured for a minimum of $10,000, absolutely included.
You can access your deposit box six days a week during normal business hours with Custodian Vaults. Off-hours, anytime access is also available with nothing more than 72-hours advanced notice. They’re your valuables; you should have access to them.
Speaking of, Custodian Vaults does not maintain a copy of your box key, insuring that only you can access it.
Unlike banks, which are obvious and attractive targets for would-be thieves, Custodian Vault’s facility is completely discreet. It has no identifying signage and features controlled lift access, so only our clients know we’re there.
Renting out your house on short-term vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway is a popular and attractive way to make some extra money. But if you don’t plan ahead to safely store your valuables while doing so, you may find yourself much further in the red than you expected.
Plan ahead, be smart, think like a thief, and for anything that is truly valuable or irreplaceable, considering hiring a safety deposit box from an independent provider like Custodian Vaults.
You’ll be glad you did!