One of the benefits of owning a home is the freedom to install any smart device you desire. In a rental, your options are more limited. The last thing you want is to go through the trouble of upgrading your space, only to lose your security deposit for making changes that your lease doesn’t permit.
As a general rule, you should never mess with plumbing, electrical wiring, or major appliances in a property you’re renting. This means installing a fancy new smart toilet, laundry machine, oven, or refrigerator is likely out of the question. Moreover, many smart security systems, security cameras, video doorbells, and other internet-connected gadgets require wiring, and are thus unsuitable for rentals.
But renting doesn’t mean you have to forgo all the conveniences of a connected home. We’ve gathered the best renter-friendly smart home devices that you can set up in minutes without any physical installation, and pack up and take with you when you move.
Automate Your Existing Tech
With a smart plug, you can transform anything that plugs into the wall—be it a lamp, space heater, humidifier, or even a Christmas tree—into a connected device that you control from your phone. Smart plugs go directly into a wall outlet or a power strip, and have their own outlet you then plug into with the device you want to automate. You’re not gaining or losing any outlets by plugging one in—you’re simply making an existing outlet smart by connecting it to your home Wi-Fi network.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 is one of the pricier options in this category, but it’s also one of the best for renters and homeowners alike. It lets you independently control two outlets, tells you how much power each one is drawing, and has a handy USB charging port. The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300 is a smart surge protector with six outlets you can independently control via your phone or voice. If you have fewer devices you want to make smart, the Wyze Plug is our favorite affordable option.
Looking to automate string lights on your patio or a decorative water feature? An outdoor-friendly smart plug can help. The weatherproof Wyze Plug Outdoor is one of the least expensive, and most versatile, options we’ve tested. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, tells you how much power you’re using, and features a built-in light sensor, so it can automatically turn on when the sun goes down.
ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 is a feature-rich smart plug that works with Apple HomeKit and supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300 is a feature-rich six-outlet smart surge protector that you can control with your voice or with a mobile device.
The super-affordable Wyze Plug is easy to use and lets you control whatever you plug into it with your phone and voice.
The Wyze Plug Outdoor is a weatherproof dual-outlet smart plug …….