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Top Home Security Tips when Renting an Apartment

Renters have unique security concerns, as compared to homeowners who live in single family homes. This is primarily because when renting an apartment, you live very close to many other people, and there’s also a lot of foot traffic around the area you live.

This makes it more likely that apartment dwellers could be the victim of a burglary or home intrusion. Fortunately, for renters, there are a number of precautions that can be taken to ensure you enjoy a high level of home security.

What to Do Before Signing a Rental Lease

Taking steps to protect your security should begin before you ever sign a lease or move into an apartment. It’s up to you, as a responsible renter, to do your research and try and find the safest possible property. One of the best ways to do this is to check the crime data around the area you’re considering renting in. You can also speak with neighbors to gauge a more realistic, day-to-day assessment of what the crime and safety is like in the area. Often the safest areas are the most expensive, so if you do have to move into a less than safe area for cost-related reasons, at least you’ll be prepared and aware that you should take further precautions to protect your safety and security.

In addition to doing research on the neighborhood and surrounding area, it’s wise to visit the property at night. One of the biggest safety features at apartment complexes is security lighting. Before signing a lease, visit to ensure that everything is well-lit—this includes parking lots, walkways, hallways, stairways, laundry rooms and areas around the mailboxes.

A property that is well-maintained and landscaped is a good indicator that the landlord is concerned about the property, which can show that they are also interested in providing a secure area.

Additional safety features that are good to have at an apartment complex include outer doors with key or pass code entries, buzz-in access and heavy-duty door locks on each door.

After You Move In

The first thing you should do when you move into a new apartment is to change the lock. Often, a landlord will tell the renter they’ve replaced the locks when the old tenant moved out, but this may not be the case, and you would never know how many keys are floating around to your apartment. Replacing locks is fairly inexpensive and is a big safety protection for renters.

If necessary, you can also buy extra locks to install on your apartment windows and doors. For example, if your door isn’t equipped with one already, consider installing a deadbolt or a chain lock.

security rental tips

Also, upon moving into a new apartment, secure your sliding doors and ensure you have good quality window coverings.

Sliding doors are one of the primary ways intruders enter apartments, so you may want to put a pole on the track of the door, which can make a break-in more difficult. Window coverings are important because it prevents criminals from being able to see your valuables and be tempted to target your apartment. Window coverings should completely block the view from the outside.

Many renters may not realize that they can also install a security system in their apartment. Security systems have become more apartment-friendly in recent years, and there are numerous DIY options that don’t require wiring or even damaging the walls of a rental unit. These DIY units are also great for renters because they can be easily removed and taken to a new location if the renter moves out.

Above all, as a renter, go with your instincts to keep yourself and your valuables safe and protected. Be proactive about your home security, just as you would if you were a homeowner.



Comments

Recommendations for tenants

Useful tips for sure. I’m glad that you mentioned the importance of neighborhood investigation. Renters should always research the area. Unfortunately, not all of them do it. And it's a huge mistake. Many articles, like this one, for example, https://rentberry.com/blog/typical-tenants-mistakes state that tenants should also make photos when they move into rental. Often times landlord will take photos before renters move in and after they move out in order to document anything in the apartment. But tenants should make photos after they move in. It’ s the best way to avoid misunderstanding with landlord concerning damages that may occur.
Also article claims that renter should get everything in written and I highly are with that. If anything is ever unclear, tenants have to make sure it's clarified in writing and becomes part of lease. If something in the lease seems wrong, applicants should ask for it to be amended.

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