The latest trend in our living spaces is smart technology. Today, we want to discuss how you can work with SmartHome technology in your rental property. Remember: this is still a fairly new thing in homes, especially in rental properties, and it can cause some complications.
Know the Ins and Outs of SmartHome Technology
Exercise caution and be wary when it comes to “all inclusive” systems that can control HVAC, air conditioning, windows, doors, and virtually every function in your property. When the technology fails, everything controlled by it fails as well. When you’re living in the property and these things break down, it might not be a big deal. You can easily connect with the company that’s providing this service, and they will come out and fix it. You may not be in a huge hurry.
But, when a tenant is living there, things are a little bit different. These repairs can be very expensive to work on in some situations, but you’ve provided a home with these functions, and your tenants will expect that they keep working. Another thing to consider is that not all tenants are totally comfortable with this technology yet. They may not want to take on the additional monthly cost of the system if it’s their responsibility. And, they may not want homeowners to have access to the heating and cooling and doors, from a remote location.
Let Tenants Decide on Technology
Some of this new technology is beneficial, and homes are definitely getting smarter. Just be sure that you know what you are buying and why you are buying it. Just because it suits your needs while you are living in the home, it doesn’t mean it will suit your tenant’s needs. So if you are homeowner occupant and you are turning your home into a rental when you leave for whatever reason, you may want to have that system removed.
If the tenant chooses to install this type of system at their expense, you should absolutely allow it. Be sure to talk with your Colorado Springs property manager and show them the system. It’s always good to get their insight on it. As property managers, we can offer advice about removing or keeping the system, and exploring the benefits and drawbacks. We generally encourage folks to remove the system and let the tenants install it if they so choose.
Tech Can Become Costly
We had one situation where the thermostat was controlled by a control panel and it had not been monitored in over six months. The system can go without being monitored for a little while, and it still should work. However when it wasn’t monitored, that system failed and it wasn’t covered by the warranty. The repairs included cutting out the wire connection to the furnace and we had to spend hundreds of dollars more than we would have if it had been a regular thermostat. It also took substantially longer because of that technology as well.
Keep those things in mind and keep an eye out for what these systems can do for you. Technology is changing every day as we know it, and eventually we believe SmartHome tech will be more user-friendly, cost-effective, and reliable.
We hope you found some of this information helpful and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at Muldoon Associates.