I married a paramedic/firefighter, so I’m not exaggerating when I say that “safety first” is something my husband and I take seriously. When it came to purchasing our rental property, we drove through the neighborhood, got to know the neighbors, and determined our home was on a safe street. We wanted peace of mind about putting a renter in this home and telling them they’d be safe. And that’s exactly what we got.

That is, until Lucas arrived at the property one morning and saw that someone had tried to break in the back door. He found a freshly abandoned tire iron in the backyard, and several dents in the door where the intruder had attempted to get in.

We’re pretty sure this happened because our house is situated between a house that is clearly under renovation (they have a dumpster in the front yard) and an abandoned house. Several empty houses in a row are targets for intruders, and we should have been more aware.Kicking ourselves, we called the ADT sales guy who had been hounding us since the day we took over the property, and we signed up for one of their security systems. We overpaid for it, we’re locked in for 36 months on it, but at least we have peace of mind over our future renters being safe.

Turns out, we made two mistakes here:

  1. We made a quick decision without truly looking into our options.
    In retrospect, I wish I’d found this article on inexpensive ways to protect your property before we signed up for ADT. There are plenty of protective options available for less money. We will definitely do these on our next rental.
  2. We took ADT at their word without doing our own research.
    Turns out, there were a bunch of hidden fees with our ADT installation, and we paid a lot more than we expected. In addition, they promised us a discount on our insurance for installing a security system, and that turned out to be false. When I reached out to Allstate with all of our paperwork to prove we’d had a security system installed and activated, they informed me that the discount only applies to the policy on our primary residence, not on our landlord policy. So, even though we’re still taking precautions to protect a property we own, they don’t give a discount because someone else lives in it. This sucks. It just does.

All right, I apologize if that just got a little heated. I’m just annoyed because, as with many things in life, sometimes, when you try to do the right thing, it feels like you get taken advantage of. We over-paid ADT and Allstate wouldn’t give us a discount and we were just trying to make sure we put our renters in a property that is safe. That said, in the end, I’m glad we learned these lessons. If anything, this part of the experience is truly an indicator of what the whole thing has been: one giant lesson-learned. Next time we will take this knowledge and experience and put it toward an even smoother renovation. And, yeah, you heard me right… next time! In spite of these setbacks, we are still having a blast.

There will be more renovations to come!

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