Protecting a house is a priority for all homeowners, especially those in higher-crime neighborhoods or cities. But it turns out, apartments are 85% more likely to be broken into than homes, according to a study by the NCPC (National Crime Prevention Council.)
Apartment renters may not consider home security, or they assume that living in a gated complex ensures safety. Crime Doctor reports that 30% of apartment burglaries are committed via access to an open door or window.
Whether you are renting an apartment, a house, or you are a landlord leasing property, home security is necessary for your properties. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Secure a Rented Apartment
The sure fire way to protect an apartment is to purchase home security equipment. With apartments, you may not be able to drill holes or install systems that penetrate walls and leave marks, but many modern home security systems are DIY, wireless and capable of self install (like our system here at Protect America.)
Place signs and stickers that promote your home security system. Thieves are less likely to attempt a break-in if they know a preventative measure is in place.
If you opt out of home security, take the proper safety precautions, and start with the basics.
- Don’t display affluence
- Never leave valuables outside
- Always secure the home before leaving
- Don’t leave doors and windows open or unlocked
- Don’t leave window blinds open that advertise personal belongings
Lastly, check that fire escapes and outdoor balconies don’t provide easy access to burglars.
How to Secure a Rented House
Besides home security, the best way to secure a rented home is to cover your bases before moving in. As a renter, you may be at the mercy of your landlord on whether or not you have home security.
Know your neighborhood before you move there. Do research beforehand and see if there are any dangers, check on crime stats, and be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.
Apps like StreetAdvisor rate neighborhoods, so you can have an inside look on the crime, stats, and perception of the neighborhood you’re moving into before you get there.
Even better, learn about your prospective neighborhood by visiting. Check it out to see if it’s well kept, talk to neighbors, and gauge the feeling that you have while you’re there. But make sure to visit at night, because neighborhoods can feel very different when the sun goes down.
An important note to remember, neighborhoods do impact insurance rates for car, home, and rent. Check in with your insurance companies to see estimates based on locations. If a location is dangerous, it will have higher rates, and vice versa for safer neighborhoods.
Ask your landlord to change the locks from the previous tenants to ensure that people you don’t know don’t have spare keys to your place. If the landlord refuses to pay, this fix is rather cheap and can be done yourself, which we recommend.
Should Landlords Purchase Home Security?
If you’re the landlord of a property, you’ll have a different decision, should you purchase home security equipment? In some states, protecting a tenant is actually the landlord’s responsibility.
Home security could be a win-win, because it protects tenants and the property, and clients may be more eager to rent from you if they know that they’re property already comes equipped with security.
And of course, there’s the added bonus of having guaranteed — and quick — responders if an emergency occurs.
We believe that installing a security system is a quick way to earn trust and make your tenant feel safe. If you do choose to install a system, simply make sure to communicate properly with the tenant regarding the use and privacy involved with their system. If your system is installed prior to the tenant’s arrival, you can place these guidelines in the lease’s addendum.
Do you have any additional tips or thoughts? Let us know on social media!