Protecting and securing your vacation home

How to secure a vacation home and safeguard your guests even if you’re miles away


Home safe home. The safety and security of your vacation rental means everything—to us, to you, and to your guests. The first rule to keeping your vacation home secure (and giving you peace of mind)? Doing what you can to prevent incidents in the first place.

Taking precautions and having the right security essentials in place will go a long way in warding off potential risks. Plus, this will help ensure a smooth and safe stay for your guests.

Here are vacation home security tips to safeguard your home, while also helping to keep your guests feeling secure and protected.

Safety equipment

First things first: Certain items are necessary for safe stays. These include smoke detectors, a first aid kit, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detectors. In fact, we require all homeowners to provide these items in their vacation rentals. Don’t forget to periodically check the batteries of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the year.

Smart locks

Take back the keys, then throw them away. Keyless vacation rental locks are not only more appealing to travelers (goodbye in-person check-ins), they’re also one of the smartest ways to secure access to your home. There are several smart locks on the market. Some require guests to download an app to unlock them. Others allow homeowners to assign unique codes to guests during their stay and revoke them after check-out.

Vacasa offers a smart lock program to our vacation homeowners. We’ll find the best smart lock for your vacation rental and climate, install it, program it, and take care of any maintenance. Homeowners just handle the cost of the smart lock itself.

Security cameras

Installing security cameras may seem like the de facto security measure to deter crime. However, recording in and around your property can violate your guests’ right to privacy. In general, the law doesn’t allow video surveillance in places or at times where guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This could also include outdoor areas where guests would congregate, such as backyard patios or outdoor pools.

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Video doorbells

Even though video doorbells typically face non-private areas of your property, such as the front sidewalk, a doorbell’s audio recording feature could raise red flags. That’s because eavesdropping on guests and their conversations—similar to the issue with security cameras—can infringe on guests’ rights. We recommend disabling the doorbell’s audio transmission first. Then, in most cases, you can continue to use the doorbell under the same guidelines as security cameras.

To maintain trusted relationships with our guests, Vacasa discloses any on-property cameras and any audio transmission in your vacation home listing. For certain booking channels, including Airbnb, this is a requirement to market your property on their platforms.

Noise detection

It’s true you want your guests to feel at home while staying in your vacation rental. It’s also true that guests need to respect your neighbors by not causing any noise disturbances. However, think twice before trying to catch them in the act. Placing sound recording devices and microphones with the intention of monitoring guests is unlawful. In general, it’s illegal to listen in on or record a conversation without the consent of at least one participant in the conversation. Some states require the consent of all parties.

One possible solution: noise monitoring devices that are non-invasive, such as NoiseAware, are allowed. These types of services only measure the overall noise levels at your location, instead of recording any conversations.

Vacation home security FAQ

Traditional security systems can be costly to install, and they typically lock you into a long contract with a monthly subscription. On the other hand, smart security systems can easily be installed on your own and allow you to pay for monitoring only when you want it. Whichever method you choose, consider these components:

  • Sensors at both doors and windows
  • Sirens that will sound in case of an intrusion. Sirens can often scare off trespassers, while conveying that police are on their way.
  • Mobile remote controls that allow you to disarm and arm your security system even when you’re miles away

Learn more about security systems >

When shopping for a security camera to affix outdoors, consider those built for outdoor conditions. This includes a weatherproof design and the capability to record in the dark with night vision. Other convenient features include the ability to access live footage from your smartphone and wire-free installation.

Remember, vacation rental security cameras are generally only allowed to record places where guests don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This can include the sidewalk in front of your home or your front driveway.

Learn more about security cameras and systems >

Yes. Even with the most careful guests and robust safety precautions in place, accidents are bound to happen. First, make sure you’re protected by investing in liability insurance that covers your home as a short-term rental, not as a primary residence. In fact, our owner agreements require liability coverage. Regular homeowners insurance isn’t sufficient. Standard homeowner policies typically cover the home you live in, not vacation homes that guests stay in or that sit empty during the off-season.

For another layer of protection for your property and the belongings inside it, Vacasa homeowners can have access to supplemental vacation rental damage coverage through our Accommodations Protection Program.

Want to safeguard your vacation home and investment? Let’s discuss all the ways Vacasa protects your home.

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Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.