Woman ringing video doorbell

When renting out your home, it’s natural to want some extra eyes on the property. Security cameras for rental properties can be easy to set up and automate, but there are a few things to consider when purchasing the right camera for your home. This post will guide you through how security cameras can help you, what Airbnb needs you to disclose about your cameras, and what our favorite security cameras on the market are.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on both channels. Start your free trial today!

Security cameras for rental properties, why? 

In addition to investing in short-term rental insurance, installing security cameras at your rental property is important for protecting your property and protecting yourself from lawsuits and liabilities. Security cameras can also make your guests feel safer. It can be comforting to know that there is a lookout when they are in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Footage from outdoor Airbnb security cameras can also be used as evidence when filing a claim with Airbnb for broken house rules or damage.  

Man installing a security camera in his home

Guidelines for installing security cameras for rental properties

When setting up security cameras for rental properties it is vital to follow Airbnb privacy rules. Neglecting to follow Airbnb’s rules can result in significant loss of income, suspension of the host account and serious legal issues.

Airbnb requires hosts to disclose any and all security monitoring devices. This includes all cameras, noise monitors, baby monitors, and any device that records video, noise, or still photographs. Devices on the property must be disclosed even if they are not actively in use. Hosts are forbidden from placing cameras inside of their listing. Cameras can only be used on the exterior of the building and need to be disclosed in the house rules so that guests are aware of them before booking.  

What to look for in a security camera

There is a plethora of security cameras on the market – but not all cameras are created equal. When browsing for the perfect fit, consider the following features:

  • Alerts/Notifications: Like a smart lock, you may want to receive notifications when guests are on your property. This allows you to see if there are more than the registered guests at the property, help to prevent parties, and let you know when guests check-in or out of your Airbnb. 
  • Battery life: Particularly if you own multiple properties or are renting your home during your own vacation, your camera needs a lengthy battery life. Look for cameras with a battery life of at least six months. 
  • Low-light settings: How does the camera do at night? Read customer reviews and look for products with strong night vision. 
  • Monthly Cost: While some cameras record on a MicroSD card, many cameras require a subscription purchase to access footage in the cloud. We suggest utilizing cloud services because of their easy accessibility and storage options. However, most camera subscriptions come with a fee. Subscription fees tend to be around the $5/month price point.
  • Set-up & wireless capability: Security cameras today can be as simple as connecting to your home’s wifi. No need to get complicated!
  • Video Storage: Select a camera with at least two-hours of video storage. While this may not sound like a lot, remember that the camera is only recording when it senses movement.
  • Weatherproof: Most cameras will be outside, be sure to purchase a product that is marked as weatherproof. This will include protections from rain, sleet, and snow.
Outdoor security camera

Top 5 security cameras for rental properties

Google Nest Cam: An extremely popular option with Airbnb hosts. It includes night vision, 130 degree view, alerts to your phone, easy magnetic set-up, and pairs with Alexa. Requires a monthly subscription.

Blink Home Security Camera: This camera is a classic choice that gets the job done well – nothing too fancy. It provides up to 2 hours of free storage in the cloud, and easy wifi set-up, and up to two years of battery life. It contains built-in motion and temperature sensors which can be useful in detecting parties on the property.

Ring Video Doorbell: The Ring doorbell is a great way to verify identities when a guest is checking-in to your property. You can receive notifications to your mobile device, view the visitor, and communicate with them via a two-way intercom. 

Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System: This camera provides 180 degree views of your property, and good night vision. The quality is not as high as the Google Nest, but still a strong camera. Zmodo offers the first month of its subscription service for free. A common review on this camera is periodic wifi connectivity issues, which is a problem for remote properties. 

Arlo Pro Wireless Home Security System: Arlo cameras are great for sensing motion when guests are in areas they aren’t supposed to be in. These cameras run on battery or a plug-and-play wire can be purchased for an additional cost. The camera offers strong night vision, and provides two-way communication so you can speak with your guests through the camera from your phone. A drawback is that it is more expensive than the other camera options, and can only record 2-minutes of video before requiring storage in the cloud. 

Review

You’ve poured your heart and soul into curating an incredible guest experience at your Airbnb, and it's important to protect your investment. Installing security cameras protects both you and your guest, and provides priceless peace of mind.

When installing your security cameras remember to disclose any and all recording devices on your property, never place recording devices inside of your listing, and look for cameras that provide good battery life, strong night vision, and significant video storage. Our favorite security cameras are:

  • Google Nest Cam
  • Blink Home Security Camera
  • Ring Video Doorbell
  • Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System
  • Arlo Pro Wireless home Security System

Now go get started!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on both channels. Start your free trial today!

Leave reply