Southwestern Management And Realty Team

5 Landscaping Ideas That’ll Keep Your Rental Property More Secure

When it comes to property security, people often think of locks and alarms and other physical means of securing premises. While these are all important aspects of home security, there is another way to make it more secure that many people do not think of. The right landscaping can go a long way towards not only making your rental property more secure but even hiding or covering some of the other means you might use to keep your home safe and secure.

Here are 5 landscaping ideas to help boost the security of your rental home.

  1. Accent lighting

While people often think of security lights as being harsh, blinding lights – and they can be – they also don’t have to be. Thieves and other persons of ill intent thrive in the darkness and shadows. You can disappoint them by providing enough outdoor lighting to relieve them of the cover of darkness. Outdoor lighting also doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. There are solar options that absorb enough solar energy during the day to light up walkways, pathways, and yards all night long without disturbing your sleep.

  1. Trim bushes and shrubs regularly

Robbery and theft are often stealth operations. In addition to darkness, a cover is a thief’s best friend. You can also thwart robbers and thieves by keeping bushes and shrubs trimmed and thinned. If you can crouch or stand behind and bush or shrub and not be seen, so can a robber or a thief. Not only will trimming bushes and shrubs make your property safer, but it will also make it more attractive as well.

  1. Leave some space between windows and trees or bushes

Placing trees or bushes in front of your windows can do double safety duty, but only if they are planted, trimmed and maintained properly. Trees provide a natural screen that allows natural light to enter your home, while still providing shade and protection from intruding eyes. If strong branches extend to close to a window, however, they also provide a convenient means of entering your home. This is particularly problematic when people leave upstairs windows open or unlocked, thinking they are safer than the downstairs window. In many cases, thieves target upstairs entryways for this very reason.

  1. Place gravel around lower windows and entryways

Going back to the idea that robbers and thieves rely on stealth, rocks, and gravel makes noise when you step on them. When your lawn extends all the way up to windows and doors, it makes for a nice, soft, quiet entrance for potential ne’er-do-wells. There are a number of things that robbers and thieves look for when determining either a prime target or a prime entry point. A dark path with good cover provides a prime opportunity, as does a stealthy path to it. Understanding what thieves are looking for can help you create an environment that is not conducive to their endeavors.

  1. Create boundaries around the property line

Putting up a good, solid, sturdy fence is one of the best ways to protect your property. In some cases, HOA regulations or other reasons may keep you from putting up a good, solid fence, but you can still create good boundaries in other ways. One is to plant shrubs and bushes that naturally create thorns or thistles. Planting rose bushes, blackthorn bushes and Washington Hawthorn trees are all great ways to discourage attempts to enter your property.

Creating an impenetrable line of dense trees or bushes is also a great way to add natural beauty to your property while also boosting the security at the same time.

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SMART Rental Qualifications

The following are Southwestern Management And Realty Team’s (SMART) guidelines for renting a property through SMART. Each and every application will be reviewed by a member of SMART and could be adjusted depending on credit/income and the application itself. Please be truthful!

Rental Qualifications

  • Applicant MUST be 18 years or older and application fee is $65.00 per person and is non-refundable.


  • Minimum score of 650
  • No EVICTIONS in the past 5 years
  • No utility collections (gas, power, water)

Income Verification

  • Income MUST be 3 times the monthly rent for good credit 650+ and 4 times if applicant has poor credit but good income.
  • MUST be verifiable
  • MUST be with current employer for at least 6 months.
    **If self-employed—CPA financial statements and/or tax returns are acceptable.

Employment History

(you could be required to show proof if requested, paycheck stubs, etc.)

  • Verifiable employment history for the past 3 years
    **If self-employed/retired/not employed—can verify income with signed tax returns and/or bank statements.

Rental History Verification

  • Verify for the past 3 years
  • Must provide: Landlord Names, and phone number, email (if available) on the online application.

Criminal Background Check

SMART does check—Criminal, Sex Offender and Terrorist database

  • NO sex offenders
  • NO crimes—violent crimes, prostitution, domestic violence, possession of weapons or illegal drugs


MUST be 30 pounds & under & absolutely no violent breeds—ask SMART for the Pet Policy

  • 2 pets max
  • NO ferrets or snakes
  • NO Dangerous, poisonous or illegal pets
  • NO aquariums larger than 10 gallons

Emotional Support pets are NOT considered a Service Animal and not under ADA laws.