Renting a house or apartment is no different than owning one in the sense that you always want you and your belongings to be safe and secure. Even though you don’t own a rental and cannot install whatever security system you want, you still make it your home and want it to be a safe haven for yourself. Luckily, there are many things you can do to protect your dwelling from theft and other security breaches. Read on for a few measures you may want to take when securing a rented house or apartment.
First and foremost, when you move into a new rental, you should always check with the landlord or property management company and make sure the locks have been changed from the previous tenant. This way, you can be sure you are the only one with the key to the place and the previous tenant or anyone he or she distributed spare keys to cannot get back in.
While installing sturdy, reliable locks is a common sense decision for anyone, it is often an overlooked step. Some rentals only have a regular spring bolt lock, and if this is the case, a deadbolt should probably be installed. Deadbolts are much harder to break through than a regular lock and provide more protection. If you’re looking to install a deadbolt, be sure to look into the difference between a single deadbolt and a double deadbolt to decide which one is best for your needs.
Deadbolts also come in both a physical key and an electronic keypad. You should ask your landlord or the property management company if they will install the deadbolt for you, as they may be receptive to your safety concerns. Otherwise, it might be worth investing in one yourself.
Another obvious thing you can do to secure your rented house or apartment is to install security cameras. Being able to see live views and previous events can help you see both what is going on at any time but also what has previously occurred at your home. There are countless camera options on the market today, ranging from continuous 24/7, wired monitoring to wireless cameras that only record for a specified amount of time. Of course, Ring cameras and Google Nest devices are some of the most well-known, but there are many other respected brands to choose from.
Nowadays, some cameras feature active deterrence technology that includes a siren combined with the camera to scare away intruders. When the camera senses motion within 15 feet of its field of vision, the camera blasts its internal siren at the intruder. Criminals scram when they draw attention to themselves and are aware of being actively watched. You can find a video below of the effectiveness of these cameras in daylight.
Some cameras come with a monthly or subscription fee, whereas some are free. Of course, if you don’t want to pay for a subscription or have to do much with a camera, you can get a fake one. Many fake cameras on the market have blinking red lights and look quite realistic. You can find an inexpensive set of these, and they could serve as a deterrent for criminals looking to target a house or apartment.
Having insufficient lighting in your rented house or apartment might just be asking for trouble. Darkness allows criminals to hide and also prevents you from being able to see them. You should always install lights around the exterior of your home or apartment, especially on entry points such as your front door area or wherever you enter your home. Sensor lights can startle criminals and deter them from approaching your home any further, so installing at least a basic one could save you from a lot of problems. Low-cost and simple to install options such as battery operated motion sensor lights are available from big box stores such as Amazon and Harbor Freight.
Ask the Police
A very little-known trick that people can use to improve the safety of their homes - whether they own or rent - is to ask the police department to come in and do an assessment of their homes. Most local police departments are more than willing to come to your home and look around for any potential hazards and give you some advice on ways you can improve your security setup.
Check the Windows
Windows are an easy point of access for criminals, so when you move into a new rented house or apartment, you will want to make sure all of the windows close fully and also lock. Older homes and apartments may not always have the most reliable, secure windows, so you’ll want to take a look when you move in. Definitely invest in good curtains and blinds so that nobody can see you or your belongings through the windows.
You can also find many options for broken glass alarms. These alarms will alert you if any glass has broken so you know someone or something (e.g., a rock) may have gotten into your home. Many people feel like this is an unnecessary and overly cautious step, but it is an important one, especially if your windows are older and less secure.
Secure Glass Doors
Sliding doors, including sliding glass doors, can easily be breached if proper safety measures are not taken. For this reason, you may want to look into getting a security bar to place within the track and prevent the door from opening if someone does pop the lock. Also, investing in some really good curtains to place over your sliding glass door can deter criminals from seeing valuables such as a computer and wanting to come into your home.
While not necessarily a physical measure you can put into place, obtaining renter’s insurance can save you a lot of trouble in the case of an emergency. Renters insurance normally covers things like vandalism and theft, and luckily for renters, it is usually quite affordable. Even if you have taken all of the steps you can think of to ensure your home is safe, criminals sometimes tend to find ways to breach security measures. Therefore, you want to be fully prepared in case something unfortunate does happen.
Ultimately, along with everything outlined above, simply being smart and attentive can also protect your rented house or apartment as well as your life. Taking the time to make sure you are safe is well worth it, so always be sure to check things out when moving into a new rental place.