10 security tips for apartment renters
Most of the time, we talk about security concerns that concern homeowners. However, according to iPropertyManagement.com, renters comprise 36% of all American households! And their security concerns are no less than homeowners’ security concerns. Therefore, we’ve written this article to provide a few security tips for apartment renters, both before and after moving in. So whether you are looking for the best home security service or need a couple of security tips, Consumer Opinion Guide has you covered! This article will cover everything you need to know to make your rented home as safe as possible.
A few things to do before you move in
It would help if you started looking at improving your apartment security well before you move in. Once you sign the apartment lease, you can do a limited number of things to improve your home security, after all. Therefore, checking out the existing safety should be one of the first things to do. Here are a couple of things that you should consider doing before moving in:
- Visit your new apartment at night.
- Check how the property is maintained
- Research crime statistics
- Try to consider the apartment from a burglar’s standpoint
Visiting your new place at night will show you how well-lit the site is at night. Also, note whether there are any video cameras that oversee the parking areas and whether any motion lighting is present. Furthermore, you will want to take note of nightly activity around the apartment. If the site gives you a dangerous vibe, you might want to consider renting another place to live. You can’t do much about the neighborhood; after all, it is best to choose an already safe place.
Inspect the apartment
You will also want to inspect how well the apartment has been maintained and what kind of security features it possesses. After that, you may want to spend some time researching the crime statistics in the neighborhood by contacting your local police department. These records are all publicly accessible. But don’t stop at the logs, talk with the neighbors and see what they have to say about the area’s safety.
Lastly, try to think like a burglar while inspecting the premises. Imagine that you were about to rob the place; how hard would it be? And what could make it harder? Finally, make sure to write down your findings, they will come in handy when the time comes to improve the apartment’s security. Speaking of which, it is time to get into this article’s “meat and potatoes”.
Ten security tips for apartment renters
Here are the ten most important tips for apartment renters:
- Install a new lock immediately
- Add more locks to the apartment
- Ensure the apartment
- Install a security system
- Cover the windows
- Get to know the neighbors
- Get a home safe
- Purchase a door jammer
- Install a security camera
- Install a peephole
Before you start installing anything, however, make sure that you get the installation OK’d by your landlord. The last thing you want is to break the lease agreement and pay the penalties. You don’t want to brunt the cost of installing a new home security system only to find out that you need to dismantle it or move out of the apartment. Whenever any permanent alteration is to be done to the apartment, your landlord needs to give their blessing for it to happen. With that in mind, let’s look at our tips in more detail.
The first thing to do after you move in should be to change the lock.
Your landlord will often offer to install a new lock before you move in. However, as that is not always the case, changing the lock needs to be the very first thing you do after moving in. After all, you never know if the previous tenants made an extra key. Keeping the old lock is probably going to be your most significant security concern. While you may ask the landlord to replace the lock for you, it is usually better to change it on your own and provide the landlord with the key. That way, you can ensure that the lock is of sufficient quality. This might cost you something extra, but the benefits of investing in your home security cannot be understated. By knowing that you have a sturdy, safe lock, you will be able to sleep peacefully.
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If permitted, install additional locks
Some apartments permit deadbolt installation. If your apartment happens to be one of them, installing the deadbolt should be the second thing you do. A deadbolt’s locking mechanism is harder to open forcibly than a regular lock. You may also want to consider installing an additional layer of security in the form of a simple chain. The more security layers you have, the harder it is for burglars to get in. Considering that your average burglar will choose the path of least resistance, these measures will serve as an excellent deterrent. Lastly, if you have a sliding glass door in the apartment, secure it with a security bar. Many burglars choose these doors as their point of entry, as they possess several inherent weaknesses.
Make sure to get renter’s insurance.
While getting renter’s insurance might not improve the security of your apartment, per se, it will allow you to replace your items if theft occurs. The more things you have, the greater the reason to insure them. Renter’s insurance is a lot cheaper than homeowner’s insurance because it does not cover the entire building, just your personal property. It will set you back around $20 a month and is well worth the investment, if only for the peace of mind that it provides. Aside from covering all your possessions, renter’s insurance also covers any damage that may occur in case of a burglary and disasters, as well as medical costs if a visitor injures themselves in your place.
One of the most essential security tips for apartment renters is to install a home security system.
Traditionally, installing a home security system in a rented apartment was a bad proposition. This is because drilling any holes in the apartment is directly violating the lease in most cases. However, these days you have access to wireless security systems that only require adhesive for their installation. You can even install the system yourself if willing to brave the risks of DIY home security installation. But whether you install the system on your own or hire professionals to do it, having a home security system is the best way to improve the security of your apartment. Most burglars will avoid entering an apartment with a security system. Deterrence is the best form of protection, after all.
Cover the windows
Another thing that you may want to do is purchase drapes or blinds to cover your windows. You don’t want potential intruders to be able to see what you have in the apartment, as well as the position of your belongings. The fact is that many burglars like to “window shop” before they set their mark. If you don’t present them with anything to see, they will choose to take their “business” elsewhere. And that is precisely what you want.
Establish good relations with the neighbors
Your neighbors are an incredible security asset. They can be your eyes and ears when you’re not around, provided you have good relations with them. Therefore, you will want to put knowing your neighbors high on your security checklist. Even getting to know the neighbors’ names (and they getting to know yours) is usually enough. You don’t need to go to their daughter’s recitals or anything, but you may want to put some effort into fostering good relationships.
Lastly, knowing your neighbors’ routines will make you feel more comfortable by knowing who comes and goes from the apartment building. To make the process easier, you may also want to look up a few tips on getting to know your neighbors. You will want to wave and smile, bring a gift or two, offer help, and attend the neighborhood meetings.
Invest in a home safe
If you have any valuable possessions, ones that you can’t easily replace (or might not have the finances to return), you should consider investing in a home safe. Getting a home safe is always a good thing to do, as it will serve as your last “line of defense” against disasters and burglars. Talk with your landlord and see if you can make the safe even safer by securing it to the floor. Most of the time, the landlord will be amicable to the request. The best items to store in the safe are jewelry, cash, and papers of value, but you can extend this list to anything that you consider particularly valuable (mint condition trading cards, for example). You also want to make sure that the safe is entirely fireproof, just in case.
Purchase a door jammer
A door security bar, or door jammer, is one of the best security measures you can access. It does no damage to doors, is not vulnerable to picking or bumping, and will help secure your home even further. Other benefits include being easy to install and remove, as well as easy to operate. The only issue is that a quality door jammer might set you back around $200. But this is a small price to pay for its increased security.
One of the best security tips for apartment renters is to get a security camera.
These days, you can get a security camera for a pittance. However, there is virtually no reason you wouldn’t want to install one, as even a standalone camera will considerably improve the security of your apartment. If we had to choose only one of our security tips for apartment renters, we would use the security camera.
The security camera works even better if you pair it with one of the different types of home security systems but it will get the job done even if it is standalone. You can pair the camera with your smartphone, allowing you to monitor the apartment from any place that has internet. The only issue with a standalone camera is that the camera itself can be a likely target for the burglars. But with a bit of creativity, you may be able to completely hide it from view.
Install a peephole
Our last tip is to install a peephole at your front door. Doing so will require the landlord’s permission, of course, but any landlord worth their proverbial salt will see the benefit of this modification. The peephole will allow you to see who is in front of the door before opening them. A peephole is an essential security feature and there are no reasons for your doors not to have it on them. Even so, you will want to make sure that your landlord allows you to install it. Installing the peephole on your own, without the landlord’s consent, may break the lease agreement and put you in an awkward situation.
Check out the deals from the best home security companies today!
As you may have noticed, many of our security tips for apartment renters involve the installation of additional features. The best thing to do is to leave the installation to the professionals. By hiring professionals, you will also have access to their trademarked signs, which will clearly indicate that your home is more secure than most. Furthermore, a professional home security company will offer insights on the overall security of your home and provide advice on how you can improve it even further. You can, of course, install many of the new security features on your own, provided that you have at least some experience in doing so.
If you are looking for more information on home security systems, top home security system companies, or anything that concerns home security, look no further than the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our expert staff is there to provide you with up-to-date information on all the latest home security trends!