If you rent a house your home security needs are likely to be pretty much the same as they would be if you just bought a house; you need to ensure that both yourself and your valuables will be safe and secure.
However, if you rent an apartment in a block, your needs are probably a little more complicated. You will be living in close proximity to multiple other tenants and probably have a high volume of visitors to the building. This could mean that you have an increased risk of home burglary but possibly with the added issue of being prohibited from fitting a conventional wired burglary system to the property.
Never fear however, because we have a few tips to help to make your apartment much safer:
- Advance checks
- Research the crime statistics for both the apartment block that you are considering and the surrounding neighbourhood
- Whenever possible the building entrance should be secured by key, intercom or video.
- Visit the apartment a couple of times – both during the day and at night. At least you will be able to see if carparks, walkways and entrances are well lit.
- Avoid any apartment block that looks shabby or badly maintained – security is more likely to be an issue.
- If possible try to talk to a couple of existing residents to check out if they feel happy and safe living there.
- Safety precautions
- Door and Window Locks - Your landlord should change the locks before you move into your apartment. If they don’t do this as a matter of course then you should ask permission to install your own quality locks on doors and even windows if they can be accessed by others via walkways or balconies etc.
- Sliding doors are wonderful for letting in lots of light but they are less secure than conventional doors, particularly if you are on the ground floor. Fit a bar lock to the track or a secondary locking mechanism.
- Good blinds on all windows could prevent others from being able to see inside your apartment. Always close them when you are out.
- Security Bars – Check if you are permitted to fit these. They could prevent a burglar even trying to enter your particular apartment.
- Consider a Wireless home security system
- Being prevented from drilling holes in a rental apartment doesn’t prevent you from investigating a few of the wireless options for home security:
- Apartments are generally relatively small with few entrances or windows – you may not need a particularly large system.
- Many are every bit as good as their wired companions – in fact in many ways they are actually better because there are no wires for a burglar to cut.
- They are far easier to install with absolutely no drilling required – some systems are simple enough for a DIY installation.
- They can be removed when you move and reinstalled in your new place.
- Make sure you know who owns the equipment – with a number of companies they provide the items when you pay for installation and monitoring but you don’t actually own the equipment. This would prevent you from taking the equipment when you move.
- Always ensure that you know exactly what is or is not included in any package you are considering.
- Security cameras are available with most home security systems, but they can also be purchased on their own. They can be paired with a monitoring app on your phone or tablet which will enable you to monitor your apartment when you are not at home.
- A Home Safe
- If you have small valuables such as electronics, jewellery or documents it is always worth considering a safe, as your last line of defence.
- Safes come in all sizes and price ranges so you are fairly likely to find something appropriate for relatively small outlay.
- Ask your landlord for permission to bolt your safe to the floor or wall so that a burglar is unable to pick it up and take it with them.
- Home insurance
- Take home insurance so that you will be able to replace your possessions should they be stolen. They will also be protected against fire or other disasters.
- Many insurance companies do offer policies which are specific for renters which would also cover you should you be considered responsible for damage to another tenant’s property (through flooding from inside for example).
Whether you are a home owner or renter it always makes sense to take the safety of both yourself and your possessions into your own hands and a few simple considerations is all it takes.