A Renters Guide to Home Automation

Reviews.com Staff
Reviews.com Staff

These days, smart home tech has succeeded in making lives easier than ever. However, as a renter, it can sometimes feel like home automation is out of your reach. Between being subject to rules that limit your ability to make changes to the property, to the probability that any service contracts will likely outlast your tenure at your current address, there are a few roadblocks that stand in your way.

That said, it is’s impossible to bring your home into the 21sttwenty-first century. It’s simply a matter of zeroing in on the devices that will work best for you. With that in mind, here is your guide to home automation for renters. 

Figuring Out What You Need

The first step to finding your perfect match is determining what you ultimately want your smart home tech to do for you. For instance, if security is your main concern, you might want to think about starting with devices like a wireless video doorbell or wireless security camera, as both those devices will give you insight as to what’s happening on your property without having to be installed. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a mix of security and convenience, a DIY home security system may be a better choice. As long as the system has a flexible contract – either one that moves with you, or one without hefty cancellation fees – you should have the freedom to customize the level of security to fit your needs. 

For those who are more focused on convenience or room-to-room home automation, smart home tech – like the Google Nest or Amazon Echo – can be a smart first step. They’re compatible with most networks, can be paired with other tech like smart appliances (or smart lights), and don’t require any additional wiring or installation. Plus, they offer the option to integrate with other smart home devices, if you have the opportunity to expand your collection of devices in the future.

What Can Renters Do?

However, before you go out and make any purchases, there are a few considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind. For one, you’ll absolutely want to run your plans by your landlord or property manager first to get a sense of what’s allowed in terms of as making modifications to your home. That way, you’ll know what features will work best for your system and the terms of your lease, such as home security systems that offer a drill-free setup.

In addition to the equipment itself, you’ll also want to pay close attention to the conditions of any monthly service plans that may come with your system. In particular, look at your options for canceling the service in the event you need to make an unexpected move. Some companies may be able to transfer their monitoring service to your new address, but not all of them. Plus, early cancellation fees can be very costly. And you’re not necessarily in the clear just because your provider will let your coverage move with you; you’ll have to make sure your new home falls within your providers’ coverage zone.

The Bottom Line

In short, finding the right home automation for renters may be a bit more complicated, but it can be done. As long as you do your due diligence by asking your landlord about modifications you plan to make to the property and take the time to research the type of home security system that will work best for you, you should be all set to make your smart home dreams a reality.

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