Essential Safety Tips for Renters
It’s no wonder many renters are concerned about safety: Renters are more likely to be victims of burglary than homeowners. Apartment complexes are often susceptible to burglary and car break ins. But there are some steps you can take to avoid crime-prone complexes and protect yourself, your family, and your possessions. When you’re considering various apartment complexes, remember to look for safety features and red flags for lax security. Do Your Research Before submitting an application, research the local crime rates. Good resources include local police, the landlord, neighbors, and web sites such as CrimeReport and CrimeMapping. Also, preview the neighborhood and look for telltale signs like graffiti, high traffic, overgrown lawns, and lack of basic maintenance and upkeep. Remember to visit at night too and take note of the lighting and signs of frequent loitering. Is the Landlord Keeping Up with Basic Maintenance? Security is part of a landlord’s job, and you can tell a lot about the quality of the landlord by the general condition of the property. Keep an eye out for red flags such as:
- Broken windows
- Water stains
- Cracked drywall
- Damaged siding
- Overgrown landscaping
- Weak, defective window locks
Security TipsSo, you’ve found a place you like that seems secure. After you move in, some security measures to consider include:
- Change the door locks: Ask for brand new locks instead of old locks recycled from other units. Former tenants may still have keys.
- Ask to have a peephole installed
- Get more locks: Invest in a deadbolt and chain lock.
- Install blinds that completely obscure the view into your unit and remember to close them in the evenings.
- Invest in a safe for your most valuable possessions and ask your landlord if you can bolt it to the floor or a wall.
- Secure sliding doors: Some balcony doors with weak locks lift easily out of their tracks. Place a pole on the inside track or insert a secondary locking mechanism.
- Ask to have tall bushes near your windows removed or cut back.
- Look into renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings.